LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The family of Washington state resident Kenneth Bae, imprisoned in North Korea for the past 14 months, said Thursday they accept Dennis Rodman’s apology “for his outrageous outburst” about Bae while in Pyongyang.
“As Rodman has stated, being drunk and stressed is not an excuse for what he said, but we acknowledge he is human and we all do make mistakes,” said the statement issued by Terri Chung, Bae’s sister.
“Our greatest concern remains the health and freedom of my brother Kenneth. We hope and pray that Rodman’s comments and ongoing antics have not further endangered my brother. Kenneth’s health and freedom are precarious.
“The fact is Kenneth’s life is on the line … to our family, this situation is no joke. This is not a game.
“We urgently ask everyone who is hearing this or reading this to advocate for my brother, including Dennis Rodman if he cares to do so,” the statement said, adding the family again asks the North Korean government “for mercy and grant Kenneth amnesty immediately.”
Bae, a U.S. citizen and tour operator, was arrested in North Korea in 2012, convicted last spring by North Korea of “hostile acts” intended to topple the government, and sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp.
Rodman, while visiting North Korea, implied in an interview with CNN that Bae had done something wrong that led to his imprisonment. But would not say what. His comments were widely condemned.
On Thursday, Rodman’s publicist released a statement from Rodman apologizing for his comments:
“I want to apologize. I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day … I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth. I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family….”