North Korea: Detainee disguised identity

2013-05-05 17:56
Kenneth Bae (R). (AP)

Kenneth Bae (R). (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - North Korea on Sunday revealed a few more details about a Korean-American recently sentenced to 15 years' hard labour, saying he entered the country with a disguised identity. Pyongyang also rejected speculation that it intends to use Kenneth Bae as a bargaining chip.

In remarks carried by state media, an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesperson did not specify the Washington state man's crimes but said he confessed. He said Bae entered North Korea "with a disguised identity in an intentional way under the back-stage manipulation of the forces hostile toward" the country.

Bae, 44, was arrested in early November in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea's far northeastern region bordering China and Russia, according to the North's state media. The exact nature of Bae's alleged crimes has not been revealed.

Friends say Bae is a devout Christian and tour operator based in China who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed orphans. Six other Americans have been detained in North Korea since 2009; they eventually were deported or released, some after trips by prominent Americans including Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

The North Korean spokesperson dismissed as "ridiculous and wrong" speculation by foreign media that Pyongyang intends to use Bae as a bargaining chip. He said the "generosity" the country showed in past cases "will be of no use in ending Americans' illegal acts."

North Korea "has no plan to invite anyone of the US as regards Pae's issue," the spokesperson said. Pyongyang refers to Bae as Pae Jun Ho, the North Korean spelling for his Korean name.

Bae's sentencing last week came as tension remains on the Korean Peninsula following weeks of warlike rhetoric from Pyongyang and threats to attack the US and South Korea. The US has called for the North to grant amnesty and immediately release Bae.

The US and North Korea officially remain at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Read more on:    north korea  |  espionage

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


China's air pollution at doomsday levels

China has long been struggling with air pollution issues but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it has.



Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?
5 maps that will change the way you see the world

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.