US calls for NKorea amnesty of sentenced ex-UO student - KPTV - FOX 12

US calls for NKorea amnesty of sentenced ex-UO student

Posted: Updated:
EUGENE, OR (KPTV/AP) -

The U.S. is calling for North Korea to grant an amnesty for the immediate release of a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years hard labor for "hostile acts" against the state.

Kenneth Bae, 44, is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. The others eventually were deported or released without serving out their terms, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former presidents.

Analysts say Bae's sentencing could be an effort by Pyongyang to win diplomatic concessions in the ongoing standoff over its nuclear program.

Bae was tried in the Supreme Court on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. He could've faced the death penalty.

North Korea says Bae was arrested in early November in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea's far northeastern region bordering China and Russia.

The exact nature of his alleged crimes has not been revealed. Friends describe Bae as a tour operator.

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Thursday the U.S. was still seeking to learn the facts of the case. He said the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which handles consular matters there for the U.S., did not attend Tuesday's trial.

 

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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US calls for NKorea amnesty of sentenced American
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Eds: APNewsNow. Updates with U.S. government calling for Bae's release. Changes dateline from SEOUL. With AP Photos.
MATTHEW PENNINGTON
Associated Press
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. is calling for North Korea to grant an amnesty for the immediate release of a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years hard labor for "hostile acts" against the state.
   The 44-year-old Kenneth Bae is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. The others eventually were deported or released without serving out their terms, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former presidents.
   Analysts say Bae's sentencing could be an effort by Pyongyang to win diplomatic concessions in the ongoing standoff over its nuclear program.
   State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Thursday the U.S. was still seeking to learn the facts of the case. He said the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which handles consular matters there for the U.S., did not attend Tuesday's trial.
   AP-WF-05-02-13 1759GMT

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