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Kerry to Meet Family of Detained Man in N. Korea
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Kerry to Meet Family of Detained Man in N. Korea
  • By matthew
  • January 28, 2014, 10:00
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Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary detained in North Korea for more than a year, holds a news conference at the Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Jan. 20, 2014. (Yonhap)
Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary detained in North Korea for more than a year, holds a news conference at the Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Jan. 20, 2014. (Yonhap)

 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet this week with the family of a Korean-American man imprisoned in North Korea, a news report said Monday.

The mother of Kenneth Bae told the Voice of America (VOA) that she plans to hold a meeting with Kerry at the State Department on Tuesday. Bae's younger sister will join the meeting.

Bae's family is appealing for the U.S. government to find a way to win his release.

"I would like to ask the U.S. government to make every effort so that my son can be released as early as possible," she was quoted as saying.

Bae's mother, a resident of Seattle, arrived in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

The State Department did not immediately confirm whether the secretary will have a meeting with Bae's family.

The department has been stating that the safety and security of a U.S. citizen is its top priority.

It has offered a trip by Amb. Robert King, special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, to discuss the Bae issue. But Pyongyang has been unresponsive, according to officials.

Meanwhile, Bae's sister Terri Chung will attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address Tuesday night as a guest of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), the VOA reported.

Rangel, a Korean War veteran, has paid keen attention to efforts to free Bae  and other Korea-related issues.

Chung earlier told Yonhap News Agency that it's urgent to free his 45-year-old brother, who is in poor health.

 "You know, he has chronic conditions that require continued treatment, so we would really plead for mercy on allowing him to come home so he can get those treatments back home with his family. And, whatever crimes he committed we apologize on his behalf and we would ask them to grant him amnesty and show mercy," she said.

Bae, a Christian missionary, was arrested in North Korea 15 months ago, while leading a group of tourists. The North later announced that he was sentenced to 15 years of compulsory labor for committing a crime against the state.

lcd@yna.co.kr