United States Congressmen Requesting Release of Detainee Kenneth Bae
D-Bo, Feb. 6, 2014, 12:22 p.m.
North Korea has shown some compassion towards Merrill E. Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War vet who was held in prison since October of last year, by letting him go. The United States is hoping to accomplish the same for 45-year-old Kenneth Bae, who has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the country for planning to overthrow the state.
"You have done the right thing by releasing a fellow Korean War veteran, Merrill E. Newman, to return home, you would be making further progress on the humanitarian front by freeing Kenneth Bae to reunite with his family," stated a copy of the letter U.S. Congressman wrote.
The congressmen acting on behalf of this case are; Democrat Charles Rangel, Democrat John Conyers Jr., Republican Sam Johnson, and Republican Howard Coblz.
Bae's sister is extremely grateful the government is brining attention to her brothers’ case.
"When there's more awareness of Kenneth's plight, I think that's always a good thing," she said.
Bae has communicated with his family a total of 3 times since his arrest in November of 2012. Bae’s mother was also permitted to visit him in Pyongyang back in October of last year.
The North has been seen to show more and more consideration these days, as they have recently set upon an agreement with South Korea, allowing the reunion of families split by the Korean War.
The letter that the congressmen put together urges North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un to extend the reunion efforts to Korean-Americans as well.
"Nothing is more tragic than the separation of families and loved ones," the letter said. "We encourage you to also create a pathway to allow some 100,000 Korean-Americans to meet with their divided families in the (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) before too many pass away."
Reunion efforts will take place between February 20th to 25th, according to North and South Korean officials. Previous reunions have hosted the gathering of over 100 families, before the respected citizens had to return to their native homes.