Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen being held in North Korea, said in a statement Monday he had committed a “serious crime” against North Korea, reports CNN.
Bae also stated his captors do “not abuse human rights,” according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua. He urged the United States to cooperate with North Korea to secure his release.
It’s important to note that any statements made by Bae would be sanctioned by the North Korean government, a country with a history of releasing false “confessions.” North Korea is widely known for its human rights abuses.
Bae was arrested in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for “crimes against the state.” He is a devoted Christian who, before his arrest, operated a China-based company specializing in tours of North Korea, according to his family and freekennow.com, a website friends set up to promote his release.
"Several years ago, Kenneth saw an opportunity that combined his entrepreneurial spirit with his personal convictions as a Christian," the site said. "He believed in showing compassion to the North Korean people by contributing to their economy in the form of tourism."
For the 12th year in a row, World Watch List ranks North Korea as number one for Christian persecution. According to the site, “anyone discovered engaging in secret religious activity may be subject to arrest, disappearance, torture, even public execution.”
Publication Date: January 20, 2014.