In a tape released last week, Kenneth Bae, the Korean American arrested in late 2012 for crimes against the North Korean regime, pleaded for clemency from North Korea as well as for greater U.S. involvement, CNN reports.
In a video interview conducted by pro-North Korean, Tokyo-based group Choson Sinbo, Bae is shown wearing a plain blue prisoner uniform and sitting in a sparsely furnished room, which includes a modern heater and fan. As he speaks to the camera in Korean, he says the work is not particularly laborious and people are considerate overall, but because his health is poor, he suffers.
Bae, who has a shaved head and looks very thin in comparison to previously released photos, seems on the verge of tears as he explains he hoped the situation would have been cleared by now so that he may celebrate his father’s 70th birthday on July 4.
The video is interspersed with imaged of Bae working in a field in what may be an attempt to soften the image of North Korean labor camps. A schedule for the day, written in Korean and conveniently translated into English, is also shown and suggests that the day’s eight-hour shift is divided by generous rest periods. Read more here.