News / Asia

Mother of US Missionary Jailed in N. Korea Says He is 'Alone and Ailing'

FILE - Myunghee Bae, the mother of Kenneth Bae, is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Lynnwood, Washington, Aug. 7, 2013.
FILE - Myunghee Bae, the mother of Kenneth Bae, is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Lynnwood, Washington, Aug. 7, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
The mother of jailed U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae, who is serving a 15-year sentence for state subversion in North Korea, said that her son remained isolated and was desperate for contact with the outside world a year after he was first detained.
 
Myunghee Bae, in an op-ed published in the Seattle Times, provided details about her October visit to the Pyongyang hospital where her son, who is diabetic, was recovering from health ailments that saw him lose 50 pounds in three months.
 
“It pained me to see how starved he was for a connection to home and the outside world, alone and ailing in a foreign prison,” Bae wrote in the piece, published on Sunday. “I tried to reassure him that he was not forgotten.”
 
“He has been isolated for one year without anybody to talk to other than his guards and doctors. I could not imagine how hard that must have been for Kenneth, who has always been so outgoing and talkative,” she wrote.
 
Kenneth Bae, 45, was detained Nov. 3, 2012 as he led a tour group through the northern region of the country. The country's Supreme Court said he used his tourism business to form groups aimed at overthrowing the government and sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor in May.
 
A devout Christian, Bae has acknowledged he conducted religious services in North Korea, which has long been hostile to Westerners advocating religious causes.
 
Bae's sentence came amid a long series of acrimonious exchanges between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang's nuclear program. Efforts to secure his release have so far proved unsuccessful.
 
Myunghee Bae, who was able to see her son three times during her visit to North Korea, wrote that seeing her son dressed in a hospital gown and confined to a small room drove home the reality that he is a prisoner in North Korea, with no clear path as to how to avoid serving another 14 years.
 
“He reassured me his mind was stable and his medical condition was improving,” she said, adding that her son reads all 150 letters he has received from supporters once a week. “However, it was difficult for me to believe his words.”
 
The family is collecting online signatures for a petition to U.S. President Barack Obama requesting the administration “pursue every course of possible action” to secure Bae's release.

You May Like

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

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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