We met Terri Chung, sister of Kenneth Bae, and her mother Mrs. May Bae in January 2014 in New York City to discuss how we might help in the efforts to gain the release of Kenneth Bae who had been held in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea since November 2012. During that same week in January, we met with H.E. Mr. Jang Il Hun, Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the United Nations. Since then, we have worked with the Bae family, Ambassador Jang and the U.S. State Department in the efforts to bring Kenneth Bae home.
Since those meetings, we did what we could to help the efforts to gain Kenneth Bae's release. We wrote letters to the DPRK's leader, communicated with Ambassador Jang, and kept in touch with the State Department. We wrote several posts to shine light on the plight of Kenneth Bae and the situation in North Korea. After our October 23, 2014 post "Living by Hope" Terri Chung stated, "I am thankful for the tireless advocacy for Kenneth by Dr. Grace Ji Sun Kim and Rev. Jesse Jackson and for their beautiful reflection on what it means to 'live in hope' during dark days."
Through the work of the U.S. State Department, we are delighted and thrilled that Kenneth Bae is now released, reunited with his family and back in the United States.
Below is the press release from Rainbow PUSH Coalition from Saturday November 8, 2014:
Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller are both released from North Korea and will arrive home to their family and friends. Kenneth Bae has been in a DPRK prison for more than 2 years and was the longest serving American prisoner.
We are thankful to God who gives us hope during dark times. We kept praying for Bae's release and we are grateful to God for God's mercy and grace.
We have been working with the Bae family, and U.S. State Department for the past year for his release from DPRK on humanitarian grounds. We are thrilled and excited that he will be home soon.
There were so many people involved in helping and securing his release. From Rainbow PUSH Coalition, we would like to thank Ambassador Robert King, the U.S. State Department, The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, the DPRK Ambassador Jang in New York, Kate Rebholz, Linda McFadyen and many others who helped us in our journey to help release Kenneth Bae.
We extend our greatest joy to Mr. Kenneth Bae and his family for his homecoming. We are thankful and appreciative to Terri Chung and her mother Mrs. May Bae for working with us this past year as we sought his release.
May Kenneth Bae's release from DPRK prison be a reminder to us of God's great love and mercy. May we continue to work for justice and peace. May we all live in hope.
"Keep Hope Alive."
Reflecting on her brother's release on November 8, 2014, Terri Chung wrote, "Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim has been a consistent voice for Kenneth's freedom, along with Rev Jesse Jackson."
We are grateful to have been able to help in the release efforts of Kenneth Bae. As we worked with the Bae family during this past year, we came to know them personally and recognized their deep love for Kenneth Bae. Their hard work, dedication, and love were punctuated by Bae's release this past weekend.
Throughout the year, Terri and her mother never lost hope in God. They trusted and believed that God would have a hand in Bae's release. Their deep faith and trust in God endured them during their dark days.
May God's mercy and love be upon us all and give us hope in our own times of darkness.