World News

North Korea Withdraws Invitation to US Envoy



The U.S. State Department says North Korea has rescinded its offer for a senior U.S. envoy to visit Pyongyang to negotiate the release of a jailed Korean-American.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday the U.S. is "surprised and disappointed" by North Korea's decision, and is very concerned about the health of detainee Kenneth Bae.

U.S. envoy Robert King was due to travel from Tokyo to Pyongyang Friday to request that Bae be freed on humanitarian grounds.

Bae is a 44-year-old Christian missionary who was arrested after entering North Korea as a tour operator last year. He was convicted of trying to topple North Korea's government and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Bae's family says his health is quickly deteriorating. He has reportedly been moved from a labor camp to a prison hospital after losing more than 23 kilograms.



North Korea has detained at least six Americans since 2009. All have been allowed to return home before serving their full sentences. Most were released following visits by prominent Americans, including former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Bae's arrest came at a time of heightened U.S.-North Korea tension over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. North Korea has denied using Bae's case as a bargaining chip to try to extract concessions from Washington.

Feature Story

FILE - Jordanian soldiers in armored vehicles stand guard near the Jordanian Karameh border crossing on the Jordanian-Iraqi border, near Ruweished city, June 25, 2014.

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Special Reports