The family of Kenneth Bae is making their first comments since he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “crimes against the state” by North Korea, reports First Post
This while the U.S. State Department has demanded Bae’s immediate release on humanitarian grounds and has called for the communist country to grant him amnesty.
Bae’s mother Myung-Hee Bae lives in the Seattle area and told Reuters her son has only been allowed to contact her once since being imprisoned in November by the North Koreans. He told her in a telephone call April 23 that he was well.
His sister Terri Chung confirmed to CNN that he had been working as a tour guide at the time of his arrest.
“We can’t really know for sure why he would be arrested. He’s only had the biggest heart for the people and the nation of North Korea,” she said. “We are baffled just like anybody else about why a man like my brother could be arrested.”
“We just pray and ask for leaders of both nations to please just see him as one man caught in between and we just ask that he be allowed to come home,” Chung said.
Both friends and acquaintances describe Bae as a committed Christian.
“He has feelings for orphans and has done some ministry work feeding orphans,” added David Ross, director of a missionary training center at Antioch World Ministries Inc in Monroe, Washington. “He has a missionary heart,” Ross said.
You can read more about efforts to free Bae and the diplomatic maneuvering taking place in First Post.