Ex-NBA star sides with Pyongyang, invites criticism

Reacting to Rodman's implication in a CNN interview that Bae was somehow guilty, Bae's sister Terri Chung said that Rodman was "playing games" with her brother's life.

Korea
Jan 17 2014, 3:19 PM
Ex-NBA star sides with Pyongyang, invites criticism
Dennis Rodman during the interview with CNN.

Former American basketball star Dennis Rodman’s insinuation that imprisoned American tour operator Kenneth Bae had worked against North Korea has invited a sharp reaction from Bae’s family.

In a CNN interview last week, Rodman had asked: "Do you understand what he did in this country?" Reacting to Rodman's implication that Bae was somehow guilty, Bae's sister Terri Chung said that Rodman was "playing games" with her brother's life.

Forty-four-year-old Bae is serving a 15-year sentence in a labour camp in North Korea on charges of trying to overthrow the North Korean government. Led by Rodman, a group of playershad participated in a basketball match inPyongyang earlier this month to celebrate Kim Jong Un’s birthday.

"Dennis Rodman could do a lot of good by advocating for Kenneth to Kim Jong Un, but instead he has decided to hurl outrageous accusations at my brother, insinuating that Kenneth has done something sinister," Chung wrote that Rodman is not in any position to pass judgment on Bae as he was unaware of the case.

Rodman later apologized for his comments about Bae, saying he had been drinking and was under stress at the time.

Chung who accepted his apology asked the U.S. government to intervene for Bae's release, especially in light of his serious chronic illnesses.

Last summer, the family received a video of Bae and was shocked to see that he had lost a significant amount of weight. In the video, Bae reportedly asked the U.S. government to help him regain freedom.

U.S. officials have repeatedly called on North Korea to release Bae. His family has only spoken to him a handful of times throughout his 14-month imprisonment. Bae’s mother visited him in October under close supervision.

Bae's sister urged people to advocate for his immediate release by calling their Congressmen, the State Department and the White House and by visiting freekennow.com.

Bae was a devout Christian, who "believed in showing compassion to the North Korean people by contributing to their economy in the form of tourism," said freekennow.com, a family-run website advocating for his release.

Source: Baptist Press

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