The jailed American missionary currently serving a fifteen-year hard labor sentence for vague crimes in North Korea spoke at a “press conference” today, allegedly “held at his own request,” although who knows. “I believe that my problem can be solved by close cooperation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country,” said Kenneth Bae, probably under duress. He also admitted to having committed anti-government acts. “The vice president of United States said that I was detained here without any reason,” said Bae. “I think these comments infuriated the people here enormously. And for this reason, I am in a difficult situation now.”
Almost nothing Bae said can be taken at face value, according to experts. “We shouldn’t take Kenneth Bae’s comments merely as his own,” Kim Jin Moo of Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul told the AP. “The reason why North Korea had Kenneth Bae make this statement … is that they want Washington to reach out to them. Bae’s comments are an appeal to Washington to actively persuade Pyongyang to release him.”
Bae, of course, was not helped at all by Dennis Rodman’s recent trips to hang out with Kim Jong-un. This time, Rodman could not be reached for comment, which is definitely for the best.