Night Watch

North Korea: North Korean media published the following article on 5 May:

"The spokesman for the Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question raised by the Korean Central News Agency Sunday as regards the issue of American Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years in prison for the crimes of plotting the subversion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK): "Kenneth Bae" was arrested and prosecuted for various crimes he committed in the DPRK aimed at the state subversion."

"He entered the DPRK with a disguised identity in an intentional way under the back-stage manipulation of the forces hostile toward the DPRK."

"During investigation by a relevant institution and trial, Kenneth Bae confessed and admitted his crimes."

"A variety of his belongings also confirmed his crimes for which he was convicted."

"Whenever Americans were put under custody in the DPRK for violating the country's law, former or incumbent high-ranking American officials flew to Pyongyang and apologized for their crimes and promised to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents."

"Therefore, the DPRK showed generosity and set them free from the humanitarian point of view."

"Kenneth Bae's case proves that as long as the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK remains unchanged, humanitarian generosity will be of no use in ending Americans' illegal acts."

"As long as the U.S. hostile policy goes on, American's illegal acts should be countered with strict legal sanctions. This is a conclusion drawn by the DPRK."

"Some media of the U.S. said that the DPRK tried to use Kenneth Bae's case as a political bargaining chip. This is ridiculous and wrong guess (sic)."

"The DPRK has no plan to invite anyone of the U.S. as regards Kenneth Bae 's issue.

Comment: This recitation of what happened in the past and the conclusions that this leadership has drawn are strong indicators that the current regime will not repeat it. No humanitarian gestures are likely. That means that the North will not release Bae in return for apologies, bribes and promise, the usual media of exchange. However, if the UN lifted sanctions in return for his release, Bae would soon be on a flight out of Pyongyang.

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