US: North Korea Calls Off Trip Aimed at Securing American's Release

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - North Korea withdrew its invitation to a US envoy who was headed to Pyongyang to request the release of imprisoned, ailing American missionary Kenneth Bae, the US State Department said.

US: North Korea Calls Off Trip Aimed at Securing American's Release

North Korea withdrew its invitation to a US envoy who was headed to Pyongyang to request the release of imprisoned, ailing American missionary Kenneth Bae, the US State Department said on Friday.

North Korea canceled talks with Robert King, the US special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, who was expected to visit Pyongyang on Friday and Saturday, Reuters reported.

"We are surprised and disappointed by North Korea's decision," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

"We remain gravely concerned about Mr. Bae's health and we continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant Mr. Bae special amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds," the spokeswoman said in a written statement, referring to the North by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

There was no immediate explanation for the decision from North Korea, which does not have diplomatic relations with Washington.

King's trip, announced this week as he was visiting US allies Japan and South Korea, was seen as a potential signal of the start of a gradual thaw in relations between Washington and Pyongyang.

 

 

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