(CNN) -- Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen being held in North Korea, made a statement Monday saying he had committed a "serious crime" against North Korea, which does "not abuse human rights," according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, which has a presence in Pyongyang.
He urged the United States to cooperate with North Korea to secure his release, Xinhua said.
Any statement made by Bae in captivity would be sanctioned by the North Korean government, whose widespread human rights abuses are known to the world.
CNN's Judy Kwon contributed to this report.
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