In a newly released press conference, American Kenneth Bae, who is being held prisoner in North Korea, confessed to committing crimes against the nation. He also begged for the U.S. to help negotiate his release. U.S. experts believe that the statements made in the video by Bae were done so under duress.
Fox News reported Bae saying, “I believe that my problem can be solved by close cooperation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country.”
45-year-old Bae stated that the video statement was made at his request and that he has not been poorly treated. Bae was filmed wearing a grey prison uniform with the number 103. Bae has been held in North Korea for 14 months.
Fox News reported, “Bae was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group. He was accused by the North Korean government of crimes against the state and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Bae’s family and the U.S. State Department have repeatedly called for his release on humanitarian grounds, citing his failing health.”
A North Korean expert revealed that many prisoners are forced to speak under duress while in captivity.
Fox News continued, “We shouldn’t take Kenneth Bae’s comments merely as his own,” Kim Jin Moo, a North Korea expert at the state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul, told The Associated Press. “The reason why North Korea had Kenneth Bae make this statement … is that they want Washington to reach out to them.” “Bae’s comments are an appeal to Washington to actively persuade Pyongyang to release him,” Kim said.
North Korea often takes Americans as prisoners and uses them as political leverage over the U.S. Last month North Korea released 85-year-old war veteran Merrill Newman who had been arrested for supposed crimes he had committed during the Korea War.
Fox News reported, “North Korea has detained at least seven Americans since 2009. They include two reporters for Current TV who crossed into North Korea while working on a story and were later freed after former President Bill Clinton traveled there to meet with Kim Jong Il, the former leader whose son, Kim Jong Un, now rules the communist dictatorship.“