It’s been a year since Kenneth Bae, a missionary who once hailed from Lynnwood, Wash., was arrested and imprisoned in North Korea. Over the weekend, his family quietly marked the anniversary of his arrest.
The Korean War ended 60 years ago. It caused many hardships, including the separation of family members between the North and the South. To this day, there is no official contact between citizens of the two countries. No phone calls. No letters.
But finally in 2000, North and South Korea agreed to hold family reunions. The last one took place in 2010. Another reunion was scheduled to take place today at a North Korean resort, but it was abruptly postponed over the weekend by the North Korean government.
Why did this happen? And what does it mean for diplomacy between the two countries? Charles Armstrong is professor of Korean studies at Columbia University. He talked with Ross Reynolds.
Former pro basketball player Dennis Rodman has returned to North Korea for another so-called “basketball diplomacy” tour. Yet just last week, North Korea canceled the visit of US envoy Robert King, who was attempting to secure the release of Lynnwood resident Kenneth Bae.
In the past, North Korea has attempted to use detentions of Americans to win diplomatic concessions. Why did they cancel King’s trip? And what does North Korea gain by inviting Dennis Rodman back? David Hyde spoke with Charles Armstrong, professor of history at Columbia University, to find out.
Dennis Rodman: Kim Jong Un is "awesome."
Does Rodman's attitude toward the North Korean leader help legitimize his regime? North Korean media has been playing up the unlikely duo's relationship, but Armstrong had this to say about Rodman's testimony:
Kenneth Bae, an American man from Lynnwood, Wash., has spent more than nine months imprisoned in North Korea. Bae had been telling his family that his health was failing, possibly from diabetes-related complications. Bae is now suffering from severe back and leg pain and has lost more than 50 pounds, his sister Terri Chung told CNN late Sunday.
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- Kenneth Bae, the American citizen sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean labor camp, has been moved to a hospital after a serious deterioration in his health, his sister said.
Kenneth Bae, an American man from Lynnwood, Wash., has spent more than nine months imprisoned in North Korea. That’s longer than any other American recently held there. Bae’s family members say their frustration and worries grow as each day passes.
Alan Northrop in May waiting outside the office of Gov. Jay Inslee before Inslee signed a measure that would allow people who have been wrongfully convicted to seek state compensation for the years they were imprisoned.
Compensating The Wrongfully Convicted Imagine you’re wrongfully convicted of a violent crime and sent to prison. After many years, you’re exonerated by DNA evidence and released. When you leave prison, you get zero compensation from the state for the time you spent in jail. That used to be a probable scenario, but thanks to a new law that went into effect on Sunday, people wrongfully convicted of crimes are now allowed to file a claim for damages up to $50,000 against the state. We talk with Alan Northrop, who was convicted of rape, burglary and kidnapping in 1993 and exonerated and released from prison in 2010.
Former President Carter Plans North Korea Trip Former President Jimmy Carter is reportedly planning a trip to North Korea. The White House confirmed Carter’s plans on Monday. He’s expected to try to win the release of Kenneth Bae, the Lynnwood man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “committing hostile acts” against the North Korean government. We talk with Professor Charles Armstrong of Columbia University about Kenneth Bae and the delicate dance of diplomacy with the North Korean regime.
The Pope's Performance Abroad Pope Francis spent his first week abroad in Brazil. When asked about homosexual clergy, Francis said, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" What did Francis reveal about his character and agenda during his travels? National Catholic Reporter's Jamie Mans on and Father Paul Janowiak of Santa Clara University join us.
The Weather And Hike Of The Week Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.
The ousting of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was not popular with all Egyptians. Over 50 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were killed in a clash between protesters and the military earlier this week. Interim President Adly Mansour has begun appointing new cabinet members and has moved forward with a roadmap to a democratic election. What does the future hold for Egypt and what is happening there now? Borzou Daragahi of the Financial Times joins us for an update.
Escape From Camp 14: From North Korea To The West Shin Dong-Hyuk was born in Camp 14, a political prison camp in North Korea. No one born inside the camp has ever escaped, except for Shin. Katy Sewall talks with journalist Blaine Harden about the story of a remarkable escape.
A Conversation With Paula Poundstone Comedian Paula Poundstone is widely known for her stand-up act and formidable trivia chops on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! She has a new comedy CD, “I Heart Jokes” and will be performing at Tacoma’s Pantages Theatre on Friday. She joins us from the studios of NPR West in Los Angelas.
North Korea announced it would take China's advice and enter talks with the United States. But that doesn't seem likely because the United States says no talks can happen until North Korea takes steps to denuclearize. But North Korea insists on holding on to its nuclear weapons.
One group in Seoul, South Korea, isn't waiting around for the diplomats to work things out. This group's members hope to build bridges with the North now. They want ordinary people on either side of the border to meet up. Their aim: to break down stereotypes and build relationships between North and South Koreans from the grassroots up.
North Korea said through its government news agency Friday that Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Wash., used his tour company as a front to bring a Christian mission within its borders. Bae was arrested in North Korea in November 2012 and was sentenced last week to 15 years of hard labor on charges of subverting the North Korean government.
Dennis "The Worm" Rodman publicly asked his friend Kim Jong-un to release Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Wash. from a 15-year sentence to hard labor. Rodman made the request in response to an article by Seattle Times writer Thanh Tan.
The State Department is asking that North Korea free Kenneth Bae, a man from Lynnwood, Wash. who was sentenced to 15 years hard labor Wednesday. North Korea had accused Bae of plotting to overthrow its government.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 4:13 am
The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.
NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.