American detained in North Korea gets visit from mother - KPTV - FOX 12

American detained in North Korea gets visit from mother

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Pyongyang, North Korea (KPTV) -

It's been nearly a year since a University of Oregon graduate was arrested in North Korea. The family of Kenneth Bae said Friday that he's had an emotional reunion with his mother.

Myunghee Bae was allowed into North Korea to see her son. It's the first time she's visited him since he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor earlier this year for what North Korea's government called "hostile acts."

Bae's family said his mother visited him in a hospital, which is where he's been held since August. He suffers from Diabetes, they said. But Bae's sister, Terri Chung, said Friday that the Swedish ambassador in Pyongyang attended the visit and told her it was extremely emotional.

Bae and his mother wept and hugged each other. The ambassador reported that Bae looks healthier and has gained back some of the weight he's lost doing hard labor.

Bae was arrested last November while leading a tourist group in North Korea. The 45-year-old was accused of disruptive acts against the country and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Bae had to do farming work for 8 hours a day at a special labor camp, his mother said. She was excited and anxious to see her son.

"My heart was broken into pieces when his prison interview was released on July 3, because his appearance was very shocking," Myunghee Bae said in a videotaped statement. "He looked so different and he lost so much weight."

Pyongyang rescinded an invitation to a U.S. envoy two months ago.

Ambassador Robert King was supposed to fly to Pyongyang to try to win Bae's freedom.

For now, Bae's family can only pray for his safe return home.

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

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