Kenneth Bae's mother meets her son in Pyongyang: Kyodo News
Kenneth Bae, who's been detained in North Korea for 11 months now, reportedly met with his mother Bae Myung-hee on Friday, after having gained permission from the authorities for a visit.
Japan's Kyodo News Agency says Mrs. Bae reunited with her son in a hospital in Pyongyang Friday morning, where she confirmed that her son's deteriorating health was slightly improving.
Mrs. Bae is known to have received prior permission from the U.S. government, and hopped on Pyongyang-bound plane from Beijing on Thursday.
Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary and tour operator, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by the North Korean regime in May for allegedly plotting sedition.
Much of the attention around the visit is focused on North Korea's motives for allowing the reunion, as the reclusive state rarely permits family visits for detainees.
Interpretations vary, but most experts agree that Pyongyang is trying to use the case as a bargaining chip to re-open dialogue with the U.S.
Some experts have also said that Pyongyang and Washington may have made arrangements for the visit through unofficial diplomatic channels.
In August, North Korea invited U.S. envoy Robert King for a visit and he was widely expected to seek Bae's release, but the North withdrew the invitation soon afterward in protest of a round of South Korea-U.S. joint military drills.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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