North Korea

The most closed country on earth — North Korea — is now denying its involvement in one of the biggest corporate hacks in history.

Someone attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment last week and made public troves of stolen data, including five unreleased films, medical records and salaries of nearly 7,000 global employees. But before a recent denial — another North Korean diplomat played coy about the country's involvement.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Kenneth Bae’s family got the call they had been waiting for early Saturday morning. 

North Korea had freed him. 

Later that night, his plane touched down at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a military base south of Seattle. 

Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Wash., was free for the first time since 2012 when he landed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle Saturday night.

“It’s been an amazing two years,” he told reporters.

In 2012, Bae was sentenced in Pyongyang to 15 years hard labor, convicted of a Christian conspiracy to overthrow the North Korean government. Attempts by the Obama administration to secure his release were unsuccessful until last week.

freekennow.com

Kenneth Bae, a Lynnwood man detained for two years in North Korea, has been freed, U.S. officials say.

Detained in 2012, Bae was convicted of trying to overthrow the Pyongyang regime and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Updated at 4:45 a.m. ET Sunday

Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, held for months in North Korea, received a joyful homecoming Saturday as their plane set down at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.

Bae, 45, a Korean-American missionary and tour guide from Lynnwood, Wash., thanked family and supporters for not forgetting about him during his detention.

Inside The State Of North Korea

Feb 19, 2014
Flickr Photo/Gabriel Britto (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Clark Sorenson, director of UW's Center for Korea Studies, following a United Nations report accusing North Korean leadership of crimes against humanity.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The Seattle-area family of Kenneth Bae, an American man held in North Korea, said their hopes fell again this week. For the second time, North Korea rescinded its invitation for a U.S. envoy to discuss Bae’s possible release.

AP Photo/The Choson Sinbo, Mun Kwang Son

President Obama said Thursday the United States is still trying to win the release of former Lynnwood, Wash., resident Kenneth Bae from North Korea.

Kenneth Bae's Sister, Mother Attend State Of The Union

Jan 29, 2014
Bae family / Freekennow.com

David Hyde hears from Terri Chung about her experience attending Tuesday’s State of the Union address. She is the sister of Lynnwood resident Kenneth Bae, who has been imprisoned in North Korea for 15 months.

AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon

When former basketball star Dennis Rodman implied to CNN that Kenneth Bae, a Lynnwood, Wash., man imprisoned in North Korea, had committed a crime, Bae’s sister lashed out.

Bae family / Freekennow.com

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.

AP Photo/The Choson Sinbo, Mun Kwang Son

The mother of a Lynnwood man sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea has spoken about their emotional reunion when she visited him in prison.

AP Photo/The Choson Sinbo, Mun Kwang Son

When Myunghee Bae stepped into the hospital room in North Korea on Friday, she wept as she embraced her son.

Flickr Photo/CJ_Supreme

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.

AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin

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:


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