NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Kenneth Bae, the longest-held U.S. prisoner in North Korean history, has released the following statement concerning American college student Otto Warmbier, sentenced to 15 years of prison and hard labor in North Korea:
"Our hearts go out to Mr. Warmbier and his family as they deal with the devastating news of his 15-year hard labor sentence in the DPRK (North Korea). My family and I are praying that he will be able to come home soon. Our prayers are also with the Warmbier family, as we know what a toll the imprisonment takes on the whole family."
"I would like to invite fellow American citizens to join me in advocating for Mr. Warmbier as you have done for me. We have a lot of influence as Americans. Every petition you sign and every letter you write to support prisoners being held can make a big difference."
"The support of my family and friends back home meant everything to me. Knowing they were concerned and had not forgotten about me helped me make it through each day."
"In addition to Mr. Warmbier, also keep in mind Canadian Pastor Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, who is currently serving a life sentence in the DPRK. Their families are very concerned for their welfare. We need to pray for Mr. Warmbier and Pastor Lim and also act on their behalf. Ask yourself how you can help. Sign a petition. Write a letter. Call your congressional leaders. Let's stand together with them and show that so many of us care about them and want to see them come home to their families soon."
Kenneth Bae's upcoming book on his experience in North Korea, Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea (W Publishing Group, ISBN 9780718079635), is scheduled for release on May 3. Bae served two years of a 15 year prision and hard labor sentence in North Korea, and was released in November of 2014.
Kenneth Bae immigrated to the United States with his family in 1985. He went to high school in California and attended the University of Oregon and Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He held multiple jobs in sales and marketing until he moved to China in 2006. After years of managing his cultural-exchange business and missionary work, he transitioned into the travel and tourism industry in 2010 planning trips to the DPRK (North Korea). Kenneth had a passion to introduce westerners to the untainted beauty of the landscape and the people of North Korea while contributing to North Korea's economic development. Kenneth is a husband and a father of three children, ages nineteen to twenty-six.
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SOURCE W Publishing Group