Korean-American prisoner worsening in North Korean labor camp

Thursday, November 7, 2013
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

An American of Korean descent jailed in North Korea has the distinction of being behind bars longer than any other American arrested in the country since the Korean War. 

In May, Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. He was based in China and led tours into North Korea. 

Ryan Morgan of International Christian Concern tells OneNewsNow that Bae lost 50 pounds in the first 90 days. The prisoner was hospitalized after three months in a labor camp.

"So as far as we know right now he's in a sort of special hospital/labor camp," says Morgan. "But we do know that his health is still not the best."

It's not known whether Bae is receiving medical treatment.


Bae's mother was able to visit with him last month very briefly, and also a representative from the Swedish embassy has chatted with him occasionally. But every attempt to obtain his release has been rejected.

Bae's imprisonment has gotten attention because he's an American, but Morgan tells OneNewsNow that Bae's imprisonment is "one of so many more" in North Korea.

"His case has gotten a lot of attention because he's an American citizen," says the ICC spokesman. "But there are thousands upon thousands of men, women and children in North Korea who are Christians, and who are locked away in labor camps because of their faith in Christ."

International Christian Concern is urging people to pray for Bae, that his health will  mprove and his release will happen soon, and also for members of the underground church who are suffering at the hands of the North Korean government. 

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