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Posts tagged ‘Kenneth Bae’

Rodman: Sorry for Not Helping US Missionary Bae While in NKorea


Image: Rodman: Sorry for Not Helping US Missionary Bae While in NKorea

BEIJING — Former basketball star Dennis Rodman apologized on Monday for not being able to help an American missionary detained in North Korea during his trip there to play in a game to celebrate the birthday of his friend and leader Kim Jong Un.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything,” Rodman told media on his arrival at Beijing airport from a weeklong trip. “It’s not my fault. I’m sorry. I just want to do some good stuff, that’s all I want to do.”

Rodman and the squad of retired NBA players he took to North Korea for an exhibition game marking Kim’s birthday have met with criticism in the United States because of North Korea’s human rights record and its development of nuclear weapons.

Rodman was also slammed for not using his influence with Kim to help free Kenneth Bae, the missionary in poor health who has been detained for more than a year for “anti-state crimes.” Rodman apologized last week for comments he made in a CNN interview implying Bae was at fault, saying he had been drinking and was upsetor0 because some of his teammates were leaving under pressure.

On Monday, Rodman reiterated that his trip — in which he sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim before playing the exhibition game at a Pyongyang stadium — was one of goodwill.

“This is not a bad deal,” he said. “I want to show people that no matter what’s going on in the world, for one day, just one day, no politics, not all that stuff.

“I’m sorry for all the people and what’s going on, I’m sorry,” he continued. “I’m not the president, I’m not an ambassador, I’m just an individual that wants to show the world the fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day.”

Rodman and Kim struck up a friendship when the basketball-player-turned-celebrity first traveled to the secretive state last year.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mother of Missionary Jailed in North Korea Pleads With US for Help.


 

Kenneth Bae's mother
Kenneth Bae’s mother, Myunghee Bae (left) and sister, Terri Chung, are pictured in Lynnwood, Wash., Aug. 7. (Reuters/David Ryder)

The mother of a U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea for state subversion pleaded on Tuesday for the U.S. government to help secure her ailing son’s release as she ended a trip to see him.

Kenneth Bae, who was born in South Korea but is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested late last year while on a visit to North Korea and sentenced to hard labor for 15 years in May.

North Korean media said his missionary activity constituted a crime against the state.

His mother, Myunghee Bae, last week traveled to North Korea to see him.

“I was happy to see him and to hold him, but it broke my heart to leave him behind. I am more anxious than ever to bring him home,” she said in a statement on a family-run website campaigning for his release.

“I plead with our government to do everything in their power to secure my son’s release soon.”

Kenneth Bae, 45, was recently moved from prison to a hospital in the capital, Pyongyang, after his health began to deteriorate.

Myunghee Bae said she had wrapped up her trip after visiting her son three times and his health was improving. It was not clear from the statement if she had already left North Korea.

Bae was sentenced amid a long series of acrimonious exchanges between North Korea and the United States over North Korea’s nuclear program.

In August, a planned trip by Robert King, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, to try to negotiate Bae’s release, was canceled by North Korea.

After Bae was sentenced, North Korea state media quoted a court official as saying he had been using his tourism business to form groups aimed at overthrowing the government.

Bae has acknowledged being a missionary and has said he conducted religious services in the North, which is hostile to outsiders advocating religious causes within its tightly controlled political system.

He first went to China for a two-month mission trip with the Hawaii-based evangelical group Youth With a Mission in 2006, according to a video sermon by Bae and a note posted on the website of a Korean Presbyterian church in St. Louis in the United States.

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JU-MIN PARK AND JAMES PEARSON/REUTERS

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