The State Department today called on North Korea to release imprisoned Korean American Kenneth Bae on humanitarian grounds, reports Reuters.
US officials say Bae entered North Korea with a proper visa and fear he is being exploited for political gain.
“In the past there have been many … instances where American citizens are used as political bargaining chips and our concern is that this individual not be used in that manner,” the U.S. official said.
But North Korea’s official news agency has been reporting there’s proof that Bae committed crimes against the government. The report says he “admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it.”
Bae was detained back in December when he was leading a group of five tourists on a trip through the northeastern city of Rajin.