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N.Korea transfers Kenneth Bae from hospital to labor camp

By Alexandra Zavis / Los Angeles Times

LAST UPDATED: 08:14 p.m. HST, Feb 07, 2014

Kenneth Bae, a Korean American tour guide and evangelist imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year, has been transferred from a hospital to a labor camp, the U.S. State Department said Friday.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed deep concern about the development in a statement.

"We also remain gravely concerned about Mr. Bae's health, and we continue to urge DPRK authorities to grant Mr. Bae special amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds," she said.

Bae was arrested upon entering the North Korean city of Rason in November 2012 and charged with "hostile acts against the state." He is serving a sentence of 15 months hard labor, but was moved during the summer from a prison camp to a hospital for foreigners in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Officials from the Swedish Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea, have met with Bae 10 times since his detention, including Friday at a labor camp, Psaki said in the statement.

"We continue to work actively to secure Mr. Bae's release," she said. "Per our long-standing offer, we remain prepared to send Ambassador (Robert) King to North Korea in support of Mr. Bae's release."

King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, had been expected to visit Pyongyang in October and sound out officials about prospects for an early release for Bae. But the North Korean Foreign Ministry retracted King's invitation, saying the diplomatic atmosphere had been soured by U.S. air maneuvers over South Korea.

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Grimbold wrote:
Missionary , don,t try your stuff in N-Korea.
on February 7,2014 | 11:11PM
false wrote:
Add Hawaii also.
on February 8,2014 | 05:09PM
alexyu927 wrote:
15 month sentence? He should be released by now.
on February 8,2014 | 03:46AM
droid wrote:
Apparently, time spent in the hospital doesn’t count.
on February 8,2014 | 06:03PM
popaa wrote:
Time to send Seal Team for a rescue mission.
on February 8,2014 | 05:32AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Soon you may be purchasing products made by Bae. Not many realize that South Korea routinely outsources work to the DPRK and will misrepresent the country of origin. There are those in our government who are well aware of the US economic benefit of these labor camps yet publically denounce them This hypocrisy extends to the highest levels of our government, up to individuals that many of you have voted for...
on February 8,2014 | 07:41AM
joseph007 wrote:
Anyone foolish enough to go on a tour to North Korea, Sudan or any of the other dangerous places, deserves what he/she gets. Nuf said.
on February 8,2014 | 07:52AM
Solfan wrote:
Why isn't God rescuing him?
on February 8,2014 | 03:40PM
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