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North Korea Takes Back Invitation to Diplomat Seeking the Release of Kenneth Bae

For the second time, the North Korean government has rescinded an invitation to a senior U.S. official, who was planning on urging the regime to release U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae during a visit with regime officials. A State Department representative said in a statement, “We are deeply disappointed by the DPRK (North Korean) decision—for a second time—to rescind its invitation for Ambassador (Robert) King to travel to Pyongyang to discuss Kenneth Bae’s release. The DPRK announced publicly in May 2013 it would not use the fate of Kenneth Bae as a political bargaining chip.”

During the National Prayer Breakfast last week, President Obama called for the release of Bae and another American missionary, Saeed Abedini, who is in prison in Iran. Bae, who was charged with unspecified crimes against the government for his missionary work in North Korea, is said to be in poor health and was recently moved to a labor camp. The State Department did however urge North Korea to allow Rev. Jesse Jackson to visit Pyongyang officials in an effort to secure the release of Bae. “At the request of the Bae family, Reverend Jackson offered to travel to Pyongyang on a humanitarian mission focused on Bae’s release. We support the efforts of the Bae family and Reverend Jackson to bring Bae home” …

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