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Family of man imprisoned in North Korea breaks their silence

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Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood has been held by North Korea since last November. (Photo: Facebook)

SEATTLE — The family of a Lynnwood man being detained in North Korea is renewing calls for his release.

A prayer vigil was held for Kenneth Bae at a Seattle church Saturday night.

Bae was leading a small tour group in the Northeastern region of North Korea, when he was arrested last November, accused of hostile acts against the North Korean government.

Bae was sentenced to 15 year of hard labor, which included farming beans, potatoes and other vegetables.

Up until now, Bae’s family has been quiet because the U.S. State Department officials were concerned any back-channel efforts to free him would backfire.

Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, says the family is speaking out now because that approach hasn’t worked.

Now, his family is doing everything they can to raise awareness about his case.  That includes writing letters to people who have the power to advocate for Bae.

“We don’t have that (power) so we’re just trying to do everything we can to spread the word, and to appeal to those who do have the power to bring him home.

Bae has been imprisoned for 281 days.

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  • Xuven

    I hate to sound heartless … But what is with the Americian tourist obsession to travel to countries that are openly hostil to us?

  • Guest

    "Bae was sentenced to 15 year of hard labor, which included farming beans, potatoes and other vegetables." Are you kidding us?

    Farming is good honest hard work that farmers in America do everyday

    I'm sure he will learn to think twice before casually disregarding the laws of other countries while doing his easy job as a tour guide and not take everything for granted.

    I can't believe what a light sentence he got.

    Quit the whining and accept responsibility for your bad choices that you made and consider yourself lucky they didn't lock you up and toss away the key.

  • Xuven

    I have a question, and hope someone can give me an answer. Why is it that there are always thos people who will see that the State Department issues a warning that tells people don't go to X,Y,Z….and the first thing some Bozo has to do is " go check it out" then when they get in trouble and they and their family get national news asking the govt. to "please help ____ get get home"

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