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Did detained American's Christianity scare North Korean regime?

North Korea's sentencing of a detained American to 15 years hard labor could be an attention-getting ploy. But Kenneth Bae is a devout Christian, and 'the regime is scared to death of Christianity.'

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An undated still image of a video footage released on Thursday, shows a portrait of Kenneth Bae. Mr. Bae, the Korean-American arrested in November 2012 and accused of attempting to overthrow the government, is a devout Christian.

Yonhap/Reuters

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North Korea’s sentencing on Thursday of a US citizen to 15 years of hard labor could be a ploy by leader Kim Jong-un to get a high-profile American visit and burnish his leadership standing.

But there may be another explanation for what is the toughest sentence ever handed to an American by a North Korean court, some North Asia analysts say. Kenneth Bae, the Korean-American arrested in November 2012 and accused of attempting to overthrow the government, is a devout Christian.

“The regime is scared to death of Christianity,” says Michael Green, a former senior director for Asia on the National Security Council.

 
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