The family of Kenneth Bae (pictured on right with his parents) expressed “unspeakable heartache and anxiety” on the second anniversary of his capture in North Korea, reports Yahoo.
“While Kenneth remains a prisoner in North Korea, our lives are also held captive, filled with unspeakable heartache and anxiety,” his family said in a statement.
“It is an anniversary our family did not want to have to celebrate. “We weep thinking about Kenneth suffering in a labor camp, forced to do hard labor, despite poor health.
“Once again, we ask for mercy from DPRK (North Korea) authorities. Please release Kenneth on humanitarian grounds. We also ask the US Department of State to not forget Kenneth, and to do everything in its power to see him released.
“We have not given up hope for Kenneth.”
Rep Charles Rangel (D-NY), a Korean war veterans, added his voice to the call for Bae’s release.
“As a Korean War veteran and proud sponsor of a congressional resolution encouraging peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, I applaud the DPRK for showing signs of progress towards reconciliation. It is encouraging that they have agreed to resume inter-Korean peace talks, which I hope will lead to more family reunions that would also allow some of the 100,000 Korean-Americans to meet with their divided families in the DPRK.
“Nothing is more tragic than the separation of families and loved ones. I urge the DPRK to release Kenneth Bae to help build good will and trust with the international community.”
The government has charged Bae of trying to topple the North Korean regime while working as a Christian evangelist and tour guide. The US considers Bae a political hostage.
Last month another American prisoner, Jeffrey Fowle, was released by the North Koreans, giving the Bae family hope.