Sister of man held captive in North Korea says Dennis Rodman is harming efforts to free him

Dennis Rodman allegedly implied that Mr Bae might deserve his punishment

The sister of a man imprisoned in North Korea has expressed her concern that basketball player Dennis Rodman is jeopardising efforts to free her brother.

Mr Rodman is currently in the country to celebrate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s birthday in Pyongyang, where he and other NBA players played an exhibition game. Mr Rodman also sang happy birthday to the leader.

Read more:

Dennis Rodman sings 'Happy Birthday' for BFF Kim Jong-Un as North Korea beats US NBA All-stars team in 'friendly' match

Mr Bae's sister Terri Chung said on Wednesday that the 45-year-old’s family were in disbelief when Mr Rodman refused to discuss MR Bae’s case with North Korean leaders.

During an interview with US news network CNN, Mr Rodman also implied that Bae may deserve his punishment.

“Clearly, he’s uninformed and doesn’t know anything about Kenneth or his detainment. I don’t think he has any authority to speak or pass judgment on Kenneth, certainly,” Chung said.

Mr Bae’s family have unsuccessfully attempted to contact Mr Rodman and his agent in the past, Ms Chung said.

“He made it clear he doesn’t want to help. My concern is he’s hurting the cause,” she said. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Mr Bae was arrested for alleged crimes against the state in November 2012, while leading a tour group in the country. His sister suspects that Mr Bae was detained for being a Christian.

He was sentenced to 15 year hard labour, but was moved to a hospital last summer due to poor health.

His family say he has diabetes, an enlarged heart, and a back injury that prevents him for standing for more than 30 minutes at a time.

The US State Department has told Mr Bae’s family that it is doing everything it can to help him, but Ms Chung said she is not aware of any plans.

Bae was born in South Korea and moved to the United States in 1985 with his parents and sister where he attended the University of Oregon. He later lived in the Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, where his mother, Myunghee Bae, now lives. Chung lives in nearby Edmonds.

Bae was allowed to call home on 29 December because of the holidays, marking the first time the man was able to speak to his three children from a previous marriage.

Before his arrest, Mr Bae lived in China for seven years with his wife and stepdaughter where he ran a tour business and led 18 legal trips to North Korea, his sister said.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?