He suffered torture, forced labor, and failing health for two long years, but now he is free to tell his story
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service, who has been to North Korea
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (ANS – May 6, 2016) — Kenneth Bae, an American citizen, spent almost two years performing grueling work for the North Korean regime after being detained and sentence to 15 years of hard labor.
He was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1968, and his family immigrated to the United States in 1985. Bae went to high school in California and attended the University of Oregon and Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
According to a story from CBN, Bae developed a love for the people of North Korea that eventually led him to the China-North Korea border. A new concern was born in his heart: one for a people so controlled, so oppressed, that no one really knew what life was like inside this isolated nation.
“Compelled to show them they were not forgotten by the outside world, Bae formed a company that successfully led peaceful tours into North Korea for many years,” the story went onto sayd.
“His ordeal started on one fateful occasion when Bae crossed the border unwittingly carrying his external computer hard drive. The North Korean authorities swung into action.”
Detaining him at a remote location, the officials subjected him to a game of “good cop, bad cop” during a prolonged interrogation.
Convinced of Bae’s guilt, the authorities transported him to Pyongyang for sentencing. Bae was immediately sentenced to 15 years of hard labor at a remote North Korean prison camp.
There, he suffered torture, forced labor, and failing health for two long years.
“I worked from 8 a.m. to 6 pm. at night, working on the field, carrying rock, shoveling coal,” Bae told CNN on Monday.
The verbal abuse from North Korean officials only added to his pain, Bae said.
“‘No one remembers you. You have been forgotten by people, your government. You’re not going home anytime soon. You’ll be here for 15 years. You’ll be 60 before you go home,’” Bae said one of the prosecutors told him repeatedly.
But the prayers and efforts of family, friends and strangers – and even that of Barack Obama, the President of the United States – mobilized to bring Kenneth Bae home. He was finally released in November 2014.
Bae also told CNN on Monday that his faith helped him deal with the physical and verbal agony.
“Along the way, I found my way adjusting to life in the North Korean prison, just depending on God,” he said.
Now, he tells his story of those events in his new book, Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea (with Mark Tabb). To order a copy, please go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0718079639/ref=rdr_ext_tmb).
To see the entire interview with CBN News Sr. Reporter, George Thomas, please go to http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/may/how-kenneth-bae-survived-torture-agony-in-north-koreas-prison
Photo captions: 1) Kenneth Bae in prison garb with his North Korean captors. 2) A touching moment when imprisoned American Kenneth Bae visits with his mother, Myunghee, at a hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea. 3) Kenneth Bae can finally smile in this CBN interview with George Thomas. 4) Dan Wooding with Dr. David Cho besides the huge statue of Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and the author or co-author of some 45 books. Dan has a radio show and two TV shows, all based in Southern California, and is one of the few Christian journalists to ever report from inside North Korea.
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