Monday, February 10, 2014

North Korea scraps invitation to US envoy

A US State Department spokesperson says North Korea has withdrawn an invitation for a US special envoy to visit Pyongyang to seek the release of an American detainee.

Jen Psaki expressed disappointment on Sunday over North Korea's decision to rescind its invitation to Robert King, the US envoy for North Korean human rights issues.

Last week, a newspaper published by a pro-Pyongyang Korean residents' group in Japan ran an interview with the Korean American detainee, Kenneth Bae. It quoted Bae as saying King was scheduled to visit North Korea as early as Monday to meet him.

This is the 2nd time the North has withdrawn an invitation to King shortly before his planned visit.

North Korea has been expressing strong opposition to joint military drills by the US and South Korea set to begin later this month.

The US government says the North is using Bae as a bargaining chip.