Sister of American Jailed in NKorea 'Shocked' by Rodman Comments

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 12:42 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The sister of American Kenneth Bae, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence in North Korea, said she was "shocked" by Dennis Rodman's statement to CNN, where he hinted her brother might be responsible for his imprisonment.

"I was shocked by his words. I'm not sure where he's getting his information. And, I'm not sure how much credence I would give to his outburst," Terry Chung told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday.

Rodman held a contentious interview on CNN Tuesday defending his trip with former NBA players to North Korea to play an exhibition basketball game. During a tirade, he challenged CNN host Chris Cuomo about Bae, asking, "Do you understand what he did in this country?"

Until recently, the 44-year-old Bae was imprisoned at a labor camp in North Korea, following his arrest in 2012. Because of health concerns, Chung told CNN in August he had been moved to a hospital.

The North Korean government found Bae guilty of "hostile acts to bring down its government," according to CNN.

Chung explained she felt Rodman was "not an authority on this case," and said she felt he was not qualified to speak about her brother.

"I don't think he's in any kind of position to remark on his case, especially after making it clear he has no intention to help," she said.

Bae lived legally in North Korea for the past two years as a tour operator, Chung said. She suggested her brother never had any problems prior to his arrest, but may have run afoul of the government because of his faith.

"He is a man of faith. I'm afraid his Christian convictions may have gotten him in trouble," she said.

Bae's family continues to work for his release. Chung indicated she thought it would take more work by U.S. officials to make that happen.

"I think it's going to take more immediate intervention by the United States government to bring Kenneth home," Chung said. "He's been there way too long."

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