Jailed American Admits to Crime Against N. Korea

Kenneth Bae appeals to US to work with Pyongyang for his release

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2014 6:28 AM CST | Updated Jan 20, 2014 7:49 AM CST

(Newser) – Imprisoned American missionary Kenneth Bae appeared at a press conference in North Korea today and admitted to committing a "serious crime" against the country. He also insisted Pyongyang does "not abuse human rights," CNN reports, citing Xinhua. Bae, who has been jailed for more than a year, said he had asked to hold the press conference, but the AP notes that other prisoners of the country have revealed, after being released, that they were actually under duress during similar appearances.

Bae, speaking in Korean, said, "I believe that my problem can be solved by close cooperation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country." He made what was likely an allusion to recent remarks by Joe Biden, who said last month that Bae is being detained for no reason; Bae today said that recent comments from the US are making his situation more complicated. The US government continues to insist Bae has not committed any crimes. "The reason why North Korea had Kenneth Bae make this statement," an expert explains, "is that they want Washington to reach out to them."

American missionary Kenneth Bae speaks to reporters at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in Pyongyang Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.
American missionary Kenneth Bae speaks to reporters at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in Pyongyang Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
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