North Korea

North Korea Withdraws US Envoy's Invitation

Bob King was supposed to visit Pyongyang to negotiate the release of Kenneth Bae, an American citizen currently being detained in North Korea

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WASHINGTON — North Korea has rescinded its invitation for a senior U.S. envoy to travel to Pyongyang to seek the release of a detained American, the State Department said Friday.

Bob King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, was due to travel Friday from Tokyo to Pyongyang to request a pardon and amnesty for Kenneth Bae, and return the next day.

Bae was sentenced in April to 15 years of hard labor by the authoritarian state, which accused him of subversion.

Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. is "surprised and disappointed by North Korea's decision" and remains gravely concerned about Bae's health.