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Kenneth Bae celebrates 1st anniversary of his release


LYNNWOOD, Ore. – Sunday marks a happy anniversary for the family of a University of Oregon Alumnus.

It’s been one year since North Korea released Kenneth Bae, a UO graduate who lives in Lynnwood, Wash.

In an open letter from his sister, she said Kenneth plans to spend the day quietly with his family.

Bae was detained in North Korea for two years before he was released last November. Bae is a Christian pastor who was serving on a mission when he was taken captive and accused of attempting to overthrow the government with his religious teachings.

Since his release, Bae says he’s been enjoying his freedom with his family and he’s been regaining the weight he lost.

Bae also wrote a book about his experience; it’s due out in May.

Below is the full letter from Bae’s sister, Terri Chung:

“As we approach the one year anniversary of my brother Kenneth Bae being released from detainment in North Korea, I am amazed at how quickly this year has passed – and how much we appreciate his freedom. In the past year, I have shared many happy times with Kenneth as he has recovered from captivity. One of his favorite things to do is enjoy good food with those he loves, including the more-than occasional treat at Dairy Queen with my two daughters. He has regained the weight that he lost while in the North Korean labor camp.

More than anything, my family is thankful – for each other, for God’s faithfulness, and for something we take for granted all-too-often: freedom. In the last year, Kenneth has spent time visiting with family and friends. In fact, he was able to informally be a tour guide once again, as he drove our parents and their friends around Hawaii during their vacation.

Probably the biggest news is that he has been working on a book this past year, reflecting on his Christian faith and his captivity for two years in North Korea. His book, Not Forgotten, is due to be released in May. God’s faithfulness in times of great despair has been something that has been on my mind since his release. When we received word a year ago that he may be released, it was at a moment of deep disappointment, when we felt that we truly had exhausted all options for bringing Kenneth home.

Kenneth is quietly spending time with family on the one year anniversary of his release, but again wanted to express his gratitude to all of those who have prayed for him and worked to secure his freedom. Thank you once again for everyone who advocated for Kenneth and for the ongoing interest in his story. To the faithful reporters, political leaders, and friends at the US Department of State, we could not have done this without you. Please know that we so appreciate Kenneth’s freedom, and we also thank you – for not forgetting him.

Terri Chung, Kenneth Bae’s Sister

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