News / USA

    American Missionary Imprisoned in North Korea Receives Visit from Mother

    FILE - A still frame from an undated video of Myunghee Bae talking about her trip to North Korea.
    FILE - A still frame from an undated video of Myunghee Bae talking about her trip to North Korea.
    VOA News
    The mother of an American missionary who has been detained in North Korea for the past 11 months has arrived in Pyongyang to visit her son.

    Myunghee Bae arrived in North Korea on Thursday and was scheduled to meet with her son, Kenneth Bae, Friday morning. She is expected to stay in the North for about five days.

    Kenneth Bae was sentenced in May to 15 years of hard labor on a conviction of state subversion. His family says he has diabetes and is in ill health.

    North Korea rescinded an offer in August to allow senior U.S. envoy Robert King to visit Pyongyang to petition that Bae be freed on humanitarian grounds. Officials said the visit was canceled because of annual joint U.S.-South Korean military drills being held in the South.

    The 45-year-old Christian missionary was detained last year after entering North Korea as a tour operator.

    Five other Americans detained in North Korea since 2009 were eventually allowed to leave without serving out their terms, some of them after prominent Americans, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, visited and lobbied on their behalf.

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