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Topic: state department

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February 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM

North Korea claims Kenneth Bae not a political pawn? Prove it

North Korean officials said months ago that American prisoner Kenneth Bae would not be used as a political pawn. Their latest action suggests they’ve changed their mind.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced Sunday that North Korean officials had rescinded a second invitation for a special American envoy to fly to Pyongyang to meet with Bae. According to this Associated Press news story, the cancellation “signals an apparent protest of upcoming annual military drills between Washington and Seoul and an alleged mobilization of U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 bombers during training near the Korean Peninsula. North Korea calls the planned drills a rehearsal for invasion, a claim the allies deny.”

North Korean leaders would be wise to let Bae — imprisoned for 15 months now — return to his family before his health deteriorates any further. Bae is not a public official or representative of the U.S. government. He entered the country numerous times as a tour operator before he was detained in November 2012. He is a father, husband, son and brother, and a man of faith who has apologized (possibly under duress) to the North Korean regime for whatever crimes they claim he committed.

The Seattle Times editorial board has published numerous editorials in support of a humanitarian release for Bae. Below is video of CNN’s social media campaign, launched last Friday, to raise awareness about Bae’s plight.

The former Lynnwood resident’s family says he has been transferred from a hospital back into a labor camp to  continue a 15-year sentence. Here’s an excerpt of their latest public statement:


Comments | Topics: kenneth bae, north korea, state department

October 25, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Keep flood control high and dry in the Columbia River Treaty

U.S. diplomats will soon be getting their feet wet in the details of the Columbia River Treaty, a document the United States and Canada have used to oversee river operations for a half century. As my column explains, the U.S. State Department will soon receive proposed treaty revisions, and decide whether to proceed with negotiations,…


Comments | Topics: Canada, Columbia River Treaty, flood management

April 30, 2013 at 6:10 AM

State Department hits right tone in denouncing North Korea charges against Kenneth Bae

The charges North Korea filed against Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood last week are “unwarranted,” and he should be released, a U.S. State Department official said Monday. “These charges, we believe, are completely unwarranted,” said Joseph Y. Yun, the acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.“We really do urge North Korea to…


Comments | Topics: association of opinion journalists, john kerry, joseph yun