Detained American Kenneth Bae disguised identity: North Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Sunday revealed a few more details about a Korean-American recently sentenced to 15 years' hard labour, saying he entered the country with a disguised identity. Pyongyang also rejected speculation that it intends to use Kenneth Bae as a bargaining chip.
In remarks carried by state media, an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman did not specify the Washington state man's crimes but said he confessed. He said Bae entered North Korea "with a disguised identity in an intentional way under the back-stage manipulation of the forces hostile toward" the country.
Bae, 44, was arrested in early November in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea's far north-eastern region bordering China and Russia, according to the North's state media. The exact nature of Bae's alleged crimes has not been revealed.
Friends say Bae is a devout Christian and tour operator based in China who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed orphans. Six other Americans have been detained in North Korea since 2009; they eventually were deported or released, some after trips by prominent Americans including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.