Pyong Yong: The family of Kenneth Bae revealed their "unspeakable heartache and anxiety" and begged North Korea on Monday to release him, on the second anniversary of the US citizen`s detention in the reclusive state.
In a statement marking the anniversary, they told how they weep for the sickly 42-year-old, who was arrested in November 2012 and later sentenced to 15 years` hard labor.
"It is an anniversary our family did not want to have to celebrate," they said, adding: "We never imagined the pain this would cause on Kenneth and our family.
"While Kenneth remains a prisoner in North Korea, our lives are also held captive, filled with unspeakable heartache and anxiety."
The Korean-American was accused of being a militant Christian evangelist and charged with seeking to topple North Korea`s regime.
His family added: "We weep thinking about Kenneth suffering in a labor camp, forced to do hard labor, despite poor health.
"Once again, we ask for mercy from DPRK (North Korea) authorities. Please release Kenneth on humanitarian grounds. We also ask the US Department of State to not forget Kenneth, and to do everything in its power to see him released.
"We have not given up hope for Kenneth."
Last month another US detainee in North Korea, Jeffrey Fowle, was released, in what Bae`s family said could be a "sign of hope" for him.
Another detainee, 24-year-old Matthew Miller, was sentenced to six years` hard labor by the North Korean Supreme Court following his arrest in April, after he allegedly ripped up his visa at immigration and demanded asylum.
Washington has condemned Pyongyang over the detentions, saying the Americans were being held as political hostages to extract diplomatic concessions.