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.
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
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...