The mother of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea, says it broke her heart to leave her son in custody.
Myunghee Bae had three visits with him in the hospital, where he's being treated after falling ill in a labor camp in August. He had lost more than 50 pounds before he was hospitalized.
The Swedish ambassador met Bae's mother, who lives in Lynnwood, Wash., at the airport and took her to her son.
The U.S. State Department coordinated the visit with the Swedish Embassy, which represents American interests in North Korea because the United Statse has no diplomatic ties there.
"We remain gravely concerned about his health and continue to urge the authorities to grant him special amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
Bae, a Korean-American, is serving a 15-year sentence of hard labor for alleged activities against the state. The tour guide operator reportedly prayed and shared his faith with others.
Bae's mother said she's relieved to see her son's health improving and was grateful for the "precious hours" spent with him.
She is calling on the U.S. government to do more to free him.