American Held in N. Korea Sent Back to Labor Camp

Kenneth Bae leaves hospital, and his family is worried
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2014 5:36 PM CST
American missionary Kenneth Bae speaks to reporters on Jan. 20.   (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
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(Newser) – US missionary Kenneth Bae has been sent back to the grind of a labor camp in North Korea. The State Department informed his family that the 45-year-old was discharged from the hospital—where he had gone after dropping 50 pounds—and ordered back to a prison work camp, reports AP. "He's back to eight-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week hard labor," says his sister in Washington state. "We can't help but be concerned about that."

Bae, who ran tour groups to the country, got sentenced in 2012 to 15 years of hard labor for crimes against the government. His case got two high-profile boosts yesterday: President Obama mentioned him at the National Prayer Breakfast, notes the Seattle Times, and the four remaining members of Congress who served in the Korean War sent a letter to Pyongyang asking for his release, reports Reuters. (The four are Charles Rangel, D-NY; John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.; Sam Johnson, R-Texas; and Howard Coble, R-NC.)

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