US envoy to visit North Korea to seek citizen`s release

A senior US envoy will travel to North Korea this week to seek the release of an American national sentenced to 15 years of hard labour there, the State Department has said.

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2013, 09:56 AM IST

Washington: A senior US envoy will travel to North Korea this week to seek the release of an American national sentenced to 15 years of hard labour there, the State Department has said.

"At the invitation of the DPRK government, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Ambassador Robert King will travel to Pyongyang August 30 on a humanitarian mission focused on securing the release of US citizen Kenneth Bae," the US State Department said yesterday.

DPRK or Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is the official name of North Korea.

Bae was arrested in the DPRK in November 2012 and was convicted on April 30 by the Korean Supreme Court for committing hostile acts against the country.

He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour on charges of trying to topple Kim Jong-Un`s regime.

"As the US Government has on a number of occasions since the April 30 verdict, Ambassador King will request the DPRK pardon Mr Bae and grant him special amnesty on humanitarian grounds so that he can be reunited with his family and seek medical treatment," said the State Department.
A similar public statement was made by the White House.

"We remain deeply concerned about the health and welfare of Kenneth Bae, the American citizen currently detained in North Korea.

"We urge the government of North Korea to grant special clemency to Mr Bae immediately and allow him to return home with Ambassador King," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

PTI