SEATTLE (AP) - The sister of an American detained in North Korea for the past nine months says he's been transferred from a labor camp to a hospital after losing more than 50 pounds.
Kenneth Bae, a 45-year-old tour operator and Christian missionary, was arrested last November and accused of subversive activities against the government. He was sentenced in May to 15 years hard labor, and in letters to his family in the Seattle area he described working in the fields weeding and planting beans and potatoes.
His sister, Terri Chung, says Bae suffers from diabetes, an enlarged heart, liver problems and back pain.
She says a deputy ambassador from Sweden met with Bae at the hospital Friday. Sweden represents American interests in North Korea because the U.S. has no official diplomatic relations with the country.
Bae's recent letters to his family urged them to take a more prominent role in advocating for his release, and they held a prayer vigil at a Seattle church Saturday evening to publicize his case. Chung says about 180 people attended.