SEATTLE – The sister of an American Christian sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea says that her brother’s health is failing.
Terri Chung of Seattle told tv station KING5 that she is in receipt of letters that indicate that her brother Kenneth Bae is going blind, possibly due to complications with diabetes.
As previously reported, Bae, who operates a Washington-based tourist company, was arrested not far from the city of Yanji last November, where some Christian groups provide aid to North Korean refugees. It is stated that Bae has made a number of trips to North Korea to assist orphaned children.
While the exact reason for his charges of committing “hostile [and religious] acts to bring down the government” has not been made known, some organizations speculate that Bae may be in trouble for taking pictures that the government found threatening.
“The most plausible scenario I can think of is that he took some pictures of the orphans, and the North Korean authorities considered that an act of anti-North Korean propaganda,” said Do Hee-youn of the Citizens’ Coalition for the Human Rights of North Korean Refugees.