News / Asia

Family of American Detained in North Korea to Meet Secretary Kerry

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The family of Kenneth Bae, an American who is being detained in North Korea, will meet Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The family tells VOA's Korean Service they will urge Kerry to do more to aid in Bae's release. He has been sentenced by North Korea to 15 years hard labor.

Bae's mother, Myunghee Bae, says she and her daughter, Terri Chung, will meet with Kerry at the State Department. She also said Congressman Charles Rangel invited her to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday.

"My son has been detained for a year and three months [in North Korea], but there is still no sign of him being released. I want to meet Secretary Kerry and ask him what we can do further for his release," said Bae.

Chung said there is no word from the State Department about a possible trip to North Korea by a U.S. special envoy to help free Bae.

Last week, a White House official, speaking anonymously, said the United States has offered to send Ambassador Robert King to help free Bae, and said the United States is waiting for a reply from North Korea.

"My heart feels very heavy.  I keep hearing that Ambassador King is ready to leave for North Korea but nothing specific is in the works," said Chung. "When he was invited to the North last time, we found out about it through media reports."

Last week, Bae appeared before reporters in Pyongyang and asked for Washington to help bring him home and confessed to a "serious crime" in the North. Bae is widely considered to have been speaking under duress.

The American was detained in November of 2012, while leading a tour group. North Korea said he used his tourism business to form groups aimed at overthrowing the government.

Most analysts say North Korea is trying to use Bae as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from Washington. But it is not clear what exactly the North wants.

Bae is the sixth American to be held in North Korea since 2009. All the others were released within a year, while Bae now has been held for 15 months.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid