Skip to main content

Originally published January 28, 2014 at 7:09 PM | Page modified January 29, 2014 at 7:02 AM

  • Share:
  • Comments (2)
  • Print

John Kerry meets with family of Lynnwood man held in N. Korea

Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday with relatives of a former Lynnwood man held by North Korea and is calling for him to be pardoned and immediately freed.

The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
That little, sadistic psychopath midget over there in North Korea isn't going to do any... MORE
But our government seems to have completely forgotten POW Beau Bergdahl. MORE


WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday with relatives of a Lynnwood man held by North Korea and is calling for him to be pardoned and immediately freed.

U.S. officials say the detainee, Kenneth Bae, is in poor health. He was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified anti-government activity. Supporters say he did nothing wrong.

In a statement after Tuesday’s meeting, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Bae and his family have apologized publicly for actions that led to the conviction.

“We fully support the efforts of the Bae family to bring Kenneth Bae home. We continue to urge the DPRK to pardon Bae for his actions and grant him amnesty and immediate release,” Psaki said, referring to the nation’s formal title, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea has given no sign it will free him.

Bae was moved to a hospital last summer in poor health, but he said at a news conference organized by North Korean officials earlier this month that he was being transferred back to prison.

Analysts say North Korea has historically used detained Americans as bargaining chips in its dealings with the United States. The two nations do not have formal diplomatic relations because the 1950-53 Korean War ended without a peace treaty. Relations have been strained by the North’s development of nuclear weapons.

Bae’s mother, Myunghee Bae, and sister Terri Chung, of Edmonds, attended President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, hosted by U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, and Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

Rangel said that by inviting the family, he was reiterating his call for North Korea to free Bae.

In Beijing, Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, also appealed for Bae’s freedom, saying he’s already been held longer than any other American detainee in North Korea in recent decades.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Enter to win!

Enter to win!

Share a photo of your holiday lights display and you may win a $100 Home Depot gift card.


Partner Video


Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►