Rev. Kenneth Bae was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1985. In 2006, he moved to China where, in addition to his missionary work, started a travel business that ran religious tours to North Korea.
In 2012, during his latest trip to North Korea, Bae was detained and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to overthrow the government. Bae served 735 days and became the longest held American detainee since the Korean War. In 2014, he was released.
Rev. Bae is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, the author of the book Not Forgotten and currently the founder and the president of Nehemiah Global Initiative, an international NGO focusing on the human rights of North Koreans.