Family of American detained in North Korea reacts - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Family of American detained in North Korea reacts

Posted: Updated:
© AP Photo © AP Photo

By HYUNG-JIN KIM and CHRIS GRYGIEL
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) - The family of a Washington state man imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year expressed alarm and sadness Monday after an invitation was canceled for a U.S. envoy to visit Pyongyang and discuss Kenneth Bae's release.

Terri Chung, Bae's sister, said in a statement, however, that relatives are encouraged by a growing number of people - including the Rev. Jesse Jackson - calling for her brother's freedom.

"It has been 474 days since Kenneth has been detained in the DPRK," the statement said, referencing the nation's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "Kenneth is just an ordinary American father of three who is desperately trying to return to his family."

The statement continued, imploring U.S. and North Korean leaders "to work together to let this U.S. citizen come home to his family."

Bae, 45, of Lynnwood, a suburb about 15 miles north of Seattle, had been living in China for seven years. He was taken into custody in November 2012 while leading a tour group into a North Korean economic zone.

The cancellation, announced by the State Department on Sunday, comes only days after a detained Bae told a pro-Pyongyang newspaper that he expected to meet this month with U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues, Bob King.

The move signals an apparent protest of upcoming annual military drills between Washington, D.C., and Seoul, South Korea. North Korean officials also say the U.S. has mobilized nuclear-capable B-52 bombers during training near the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea calls the planned drills a rehearsal for invasion, a claim the allies deny.

The State Department said Jackson, the civil rights leader, has offered to travel to North Korea at the request of Bae's family. The State Department did not elaborate and referred questions to Jackson, whose spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Analysts say North Korea has previously used detained Americans as leverage in its standoff with the U.S. over its nuclear and missile programs; North Korea denies this.

The North accused Bae of smuggling in inflammatory literature and trying to establish a base for anti-government activities at a border city hotel.

Chung says Bae's Christian faith got him into trouble.

In August, North Korea also rescinded an invitation for King to visit, saying Washington had perpetrated a grave provocation by flying B-52 bombers during military drills with South Korea.

Chung said Friday that her family learned from the State Department that her brother had been taken back to a labor camp from a hospital where he had been treated after losing 50 pounds.

On Monday, Chung said in the statement that the family is "gravely concerned that the stress Kenneth endures at the labor camp will be too much for him."

---

Associated Press writer Hyung-Jin Kim contributed from Seoul, South Korea. Chris Grygiel contributed from Seattle.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Vernon Parish Police Reports

    Vernon Parish Police Reports

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-04-22 15:38:16 GMT
    Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces recent arrests as follows:More >>
    Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces recent arrests as follows:More >>
  • Teen driver arrested for vehicular homicide

    Teen driver arrested for vehicular homicide

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:41 PM EDT2014-04-22 03:41:45 GMT
    RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On Monday, a single vehicle crash killed a woman from Holden, La. and injured a teenager.  The teenager driver is suspected of driving impaired and has been charged and booked, according to Louisiana State Police. More >>
    RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On Monday, a single vehicle crash killed a woman from Holden, La. and injured a teenager.  The teenager driver is suspected of driving impaired and has been charged and booked, according to Louisiana State Police. More >>
  • Texas teen killed in freak SUV accident

    Texas teen killed in freak SUV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-04-22 15:49:41 GMT
    ARLINGTON, Texas (CBS News) - A family is searching for answers after a teenage girl was killed after falling from a moving vehicle, CBS Dallas reported Monday.The incident occurred early Saturday after a group of friends had left a Dallas nightclub. Police said that 17-year-old Lelys Leyva-Monreal fell from the window of a moving SUV and was then struck by that vehicle.Friends and family members said that the group of friends -- including Leyva-Monreal and her boyfriend -- were driving home ...More >>
    ARLINGTON, Texas (CBS News) - A family is searching for answers after a teenage girl was killed after falling from a moving vehicle, CBS Dallas reported Monday.The incident occurred early Saturday after a group of friends had left a Dallas nightclub. Police said that 17-year-old Lelys Leyva-Monreal fell from the window of a moving SUV and was then struck by that vehicle.Friends and family members said that the group of friends -- including Leyva-Monreal and her boyfriend -- were driving home ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.