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Kenneth Bae speaks to foreign media and calls for US to secure his release


Kenneth Bae, the American citizen held for more than a year in North Korea, has spoken to foreign media, and called for US “co-operation” to secure his release.

The Korean-American gave his first “press conference” since his detention under heavy prison guard.

Kenneth Bae was arrested in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor in May.

North Korea said he had used his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the government.

Correspondents say Kenneth Bae – described as both a tour operator and Christian missionary – may have been speaking under strict editorial control.


“As far as I know, I have now been here for the longest amongst American citizens who came here and got detained,” he said.

“I believe that my problem can be solved by close co-operation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country.”

Kenneth Bae has spoken to foreign media, and called for US "co-operation" to secure his release

Kenneth Bae has spoken to foreign media, and called for US “co-operation” to secure his release

Kenneth Bae, who was wearing a grey cap and inmate’s uniform, denied reports that he had been badly treated.

He said there had been no infringement of his human rights, nor any severe or unfair treatment by Pyongyang.

The US state department says it has seen the reports and “remain(s) very concerned about Kenneth Bae’s health. We continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant Bae amnesty and immediate release”.

A spokeswoman added the department continued to work actively to secure his release, “including through regular, close consultation with the Swedish embassy”.

Kenneth Bae’s appearance on Monday came weeks after North Korea freed Merrill Newman, 86-year-old American veteran of the Korean War who had been held since October.

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.