North Korea

The State Department says a U.S. envoy will travel to North Korea this week to seek the release of an American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the authoritarian country.

The visit by Bob King, special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, will be the first public visit by a senior administration official to North Korea in two years.

A North Korean media outlet has released footage of an interview with Kenneth Bae, the Lynnwood man sentenced to 15 years hard labor for what the regime called hostile acts against the state.

In the undated footage released via CNN, Bae said he is mainly working in farm fields, but only for eight hours a day. Bae stated his handlers are “considerate, so I’m not working too hard."

Associated Press

North Korea says an American citizen sentenced to 15 years hard labor has started life at a "special prison."

No other details were immediately available Wednesday about Kenneth Bae. Pyongyang said earlier this week that Bae informed his family on Friday that he couldn't appeal his April 30 sentence and that he asked his family to urge Washington to push for his amnesty.

Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press

North Korea says a Korean-American man sentenced last week to 15 years' hard labor smuggled in unspecified inflammatory literature and tried to establish a base for anti-Pyongyang activities at a hotel in the border city of Rason.

The statement late Thursday from an unidentified Supreme Court spokesman provides the most in-depth look so far of Pyongyang's allegations against Kenneth Bae. But it is still short on specific details. Bae hasn't made a public statement.

Associated Press

NBA star Dennis Rodman, who recently made waves with his visit to North Korea, has called on the country’s leader to free the American man being held captive.

“I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,” Rodman tweeted Tuesday.

Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press

North Korea on Sunday revealed a few more details about a Korean-American recently sentenced to 15 years' hard labor, saying he entered the country with a disguised identity. Pyongyang also rejected speculation that it intends to use Kenneth Bae as a bargaining chip.

Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press

The U.S. is calling for North Korea to grant an amnesty for the immediate release of a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years hard labor for "hostile acts" against the state.

The 44-year-old Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Wash. is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. The others eventually were deported or released without serving out their terms, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former presidents.

Controversy surrounding travel to North Korea by a private delegation, including Google executive Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, is bringing attention to the story of a Lynnwood man who's been detained in North Korea for more than two months.

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