North Korea: Detained US man Kenneth Bae 'seriously ill'
Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years' hard labour for trying to overthrow the North Korean government, has diabetes and an enlarged heart.
His sister says the 45 year old is now too weak to work.
The US government has appealed to North Korea to release Mr Bae.
Mr Bae (known in North Korea as Pae Jun-ho) was detained last year after entering North Korea as a tourist and sentenced in May this year.
He was said to have used his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the government.
His sister, Terri Chung, said on Saturday he had recently been visited by a Swedish diplomat and that her brother was now in a hospital.
"We're terribly worried about his health. I think it has been deteriorating," she told the KING5.com news website in the US.
North Korea has arrested several US citizens in recent years, including journalists and Christians accused of proselytism.
They were released after visits to Pyongyang by high-profile officials, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
This news report leaves me with a lot of questions, the biggest of which is "WHY IS HE STILL THERE?" It seems to me that if you're famous, the US government will go through all manner of hoops to get you out of whatever international jam you get yourself in. Lisa Ling gets arrested in North Korea, the media goes wild, and off goes a former president to rescue the damsel in distress. A nobody Christian who runs tours across the Chinese border gets arrested, *yawn*....
The second question is related. I got this report from the BBC. BBC regularly reports on North Korea, sometimes favorably, sometimes not. They're engaged and fair. They're also not American. They don't have a horse in this race. Why is this not reported in the US media? Not at all!
Is it now okay for North Korea to detain US citizens if they're not famous? This man has been in North Korean custody for MONTHS and while I heard a report from the media (US or BBC, I forget but I think it was both) when he was first arrested, there hasn't been a peep, a visible effort, or a "pardon me but you have someone that doesn't belong to you" since. Now this man could feasibly die in North Korea and the news is coming in via the British media.
Nice work American media. Nice.