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Published On: Wed, Jan 22nd, 2014

US to send envoy to North Korea, attempt to free Kenneth Bae and seek end to nuclear program

The US has announced that a special envoy will visit North Korea seeking the release of Kenneth Bae, a jailed Christian missionary, and openly discuss denuclearization.

Kenneth Bae speaking to press, asking for US government to help get him released, screenshot of video from Pyongyang media coverage

Kenneth Bae speaking to press, asking for US government to help get him released, screenshot of video from Pyongyang media coverage

A short “news conference” before the Pyongyang drew attention for Bae, who pleaded with US officials to attempt his rescue, his desire to come home.

“We hope this decision by DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) authorities to allow Kenneth Bae to meet with reporters signals their willingness to release him,” a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Monday.

“We have offered to send Ambassador King to Pyongyang to secure Mr. Bae’s release. We have asked the North Koreans this, and await their early response,” the official added.

An attempt by U.S. North Korean rights envoy Robert King to secure Bae’s release last August was rejected by Pyongyang.

It was not immediately clear why the North Korean authorities had allowed the event at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital, Bae’s second media appearance since his arrest in 2012 when he led a tour group into the country.

North Korea’s state KCNA news agency reported Bae himself had asked to hold the press conference.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said on Tuesday in Seoul that the United States and South Korea were concerned by the prospect of “further reckless behavior” from Pyongyang.

Burns said that both Washington and Seoul were willing to return to “credible” talks but only if Pyongyang were committed “authentic negotiations aimed at denuclearization”.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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