U.S. ready to send envoy to discuss Kenneth Bae

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is reiterating its willingness to send an envoy to seek the freedom of an American detainee in North Korea after a pro-Pyongyang newspaper reported that such a visit was being planned.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not comment directly on the report in a Japan-based newspaper, which said that it briefly interviewed the detainee on Friday at a prison in the North Korean capital.

Kenneth Bae, of Lynnwood, was quoted as saying he had been notified that the U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues will come to meet him as early as Monday and no later than the end of the month.

Psaki said the long-standing offer to send Robert King stands but did not indicate any such invitation had been extended.

Meanwhile, Bae’s family is worried about him after learning he was returned to a labor camp.

Bae, who led tour groups in North Korea, has been held for more than a year. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for unspecified hostile acts, but was moved last summer to a hospital from a prison work camp.

His sister, Terri Chung, of Edmonds, says her family learned from the U.S. State Department on Friday that Bae was taken back to the labor camp on Jan. 20. He has been working eight hours per day, six days per week.

He had lost more than 50 pounds before being transferred to the hospital, and his family said he suffers from several health problems.

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read