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Christian Missionary Kenneth Bae Moved to Hospital in North Korea, Health May Be Failing

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Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by North  Korean officials for alleged plans to overthrow the government, has been moved  to a medical facility due to his failing health, his sister told supporters  during a vigil at a Seattle church over the weekend.

Terri Chung, speaking through tears during a vigil at Quest Church in  Seattle, told about 100 people who came to pray for her brother’s freedom and  well-being on Saturday that she had been informed by Swedish officials, who  represent the United States’ interest in relations with North Korea, that Bae  had been transferred to a hospital within the last two weeks.

Eugene Cho, the pastor of Quest Church who has been counseling Bae’s family  through their ordeal, shared on his blog that the Christian missionary was moved  from his labor camp due to pre-existing health ailments, listed in previous  reports as diabetes, heart problems and a fatty liver. Bae, 45 and born Pae Jun  Ho, has reportedly lost 50 pounds since being sentenced in May.

“We’re terribly worried about his health. I think it has been deteriorating,”  Chung said, according to local TV news station King5.com.

Chung insisted, however, that she believes Bae will return home long before  his 15-year prison sentence plays out.

“I firmly believe he will come home. And not in 15 years. I hold onto faith  in my God and in my government,” said Chung.

She added, “We’re hoping what little noise we’re making in this corner of  Seattle will spread. In the end, it’s not up to us. We feel completely  hopeless.”

Bae, married with three children, was born in South Korea and moved to the  United States in the mid-80s. While his family in the U.S. lives in Lynnwood,  Wash., he and his wife had been living in China, where he operated a tour  company at the time of his arrest last November. North Korean officials cited  evidence found in his possession at the time of his arrest, as well as a  confession from Bae, to support charges that he had been using his frequent  tours into the country to evangelize and encourage prayers for God to bring  change to the communist regime.

Pastor Cho, calling Bae “a son, a father, a husband, a brother…and also a  follower of Christ,” suggested that the missionary was charged “in essence” for  being a Christian and charged “officially” for his work, messages and prayers  for the walls of North Korea to come down so that the gospel would spread —  deemed as an attempt to overthrow the government. North Korea, governed by a  juche ideology, is resolutely hostile to any unsanctioned religion (read more about religion in North Korea).

Read full article at CP World


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