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Family of man held in North Korea worried, encouraged

By Doug Esser

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 20 2014 9:40 p.m. MST

In this undated family photo provided by Terri Chung, Kenneth Bae poses with his niece Ella in Washington state. Bae, an American tour operator and Christian missionary, was arrested in North Korea last November, when he was accused of "hostile acts" against the government, and has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor — farming beans, potatoes and other vegetables. His family is renewing calls for his release as concerns about his health mount.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The sister of detained American missionary Kenneth Bae says she had a mixed reaction watching her brother talk to news media at a hospital in North Korea, where he's been held for more than a year.

Terri Chung says in a statement Monday that she was glad he appeared to be in good health but saddened to see him wearing an inmate's uniform.

She says the family is concerned for his health and could "see that he was distressed."

She calls on the U.S. government to step up its efforts to secure his release and pleaded for mercy from North Korea.

Bae was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group and accused of crimes against the state before being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. He was moved to a hospital last summer.

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