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Posted: Monday, 20 January 2014 9:04AM

Jailed American Makes Public Appearance in North Korea

iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Kenneth Bae, the American missionary who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year, appeared Monday before reporters at a press conference, under guard, appealing to the American government for his release.

During the press conference, Bae said he'd sinned against North Korea and that maybe he could be a bridge between North Korea and the west.

Bae also reportedly said he was sorry he couldn't be with his grandmother and daughter to celebrate their birthdays Monday and Tuesday.

ABC's Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran called the press conference a "strange scene."

"Kenneth Bae has become a bargaining chip in the tense relationship between North Korea and the U.S. over North Korea's nuclear program," Moran said. "The American government has said that he should be released on humanitarian grounds but Kenneth Bae's family said the Obama administration just isn't doing enough to set him free."

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