Despite the best diplomatic efforts of Dennis Rodman, American Kenneth Bae remains in a North Korea prison camp, where he is serving 15 years for "hostile acts to bring down its government." In a new video from inside the prison, a thinner Bae, wearing a dirty prison uniform, asks the US government to do more to help secure his release. "My hope is that North Korea will forgive, and the US will try harder to get me out speedily. I'm asking for their help," he says. The eight-minute interview with Bae was conducted by pro-North Korea Tokyo-based newspaper Choson Sinbo and given to CNN.
In the video, Bae sits in a room with both a fan and a heater, and reports that he works eight hours a day doing farm labor. "People here are very considerate. But my health is not in the best condition, so there are some difficulties," he says. He says he had hoped to be released by July 4—his father's 70th birthday. "I know what I did is not easily forgivable, but I hope that things will work out so that I can be with my family again soon." Though Pyongyang has said it won't use Bae as a "political bargaining chip," CNN notes that the video comes not long after it asked to hold nuclear talks with the US—a request the White House has largely ignored.