Anchor: The recent release of three U.S. citizens of Korean descent and the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit next month, have many people wondering if peace will finally make its way to the peninsula. However, speaking to KBS World Radio on Tuesday, Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American who spent two years in North Korean captivity, said human rights violations in the North is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Choi You Sun has this report. 

Report: Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary who was imprisoned in North Korea for two years after being accused of trying to overthrow the government, said he was overwhelmed watching the recent release of three U.S. citizens by the communist regime. 

Speaking to KBS World Radio's Korea24 on Tuesday, Bae, who was released in 2014, said despite the recent optimism about the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit, human rights violations inside the reclusive state is an issue that remains to be addressed. 

[Sound bite: Kenneth Bae - Former U.S. Detainee in North Korea]
"There are still missionaries who are there, captured there, and also 25 million North Korean people who are living as captives." 

Earlier on Tuesday, the North's ruling party mouthpiece, the Rodong Sinmun, denounced Washington's recent condemnation of human rights conditions in North Korea. 

Sharing his personal account, Bae said the conditions of each U.S. detainee thus far may have varied depending on what they had done and the situation at the time of their arrest. 

Bae also said he believes the case of Otto Warmbier was different from that of other Americans. 

The university student died last June, a week after being returned to the U.S. in a coma after 18 months of captivity in the North. 

[Sound bite: Kenneth Bae - Former U.S. Detainee in North Korea]
"I do believe he was physically tortured, otherwise he couldn’t have been that way. I never thought that would be possible because that’s not what I went through." 

Bae, who now runs a nonprofit organization in Seoul that supports North Korean defectors seeking to settle in the South, said he hopes his work will eventually help open the door towards unification between the two Koreas. 
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.