World News

    White House 'Disappointed' N. Korea Withdraws Invitation

    The United States says it is "deeply disappointed" by North Korea's decision to rescind an invitation for an American envoy to visit and discuss the release of an imprisoned U.S. citizen.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the United States remains prepared to send Robert King, a State Department expert on North Korean human rights issues.

    King was planning to visit North Korea to discuss the release of imprisoned U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae.

    The State Department said it also supports efforts by U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to help win Bae's release. It said Jackson has offered to travel to North Korea at the request of Bae's family.

    It still is not clear what prompted the latest North Korean action. U.S. officials say it might be related to upcoming military exercises between the United States and South Korea.



    Carney said the exercises should not be linked to Bae's case.



    "We remind the DPRK that the U.S.-ROK military exercises are transparent, regularly scheduled and defense-oriented. These exercises are in no way linked to Mr. Bae's case, and we believe they know that."



    South Korea announced Monday that military drills with the United States will begin later this month.

    Also Monday, North Korea received a different American delegation.

    A group led by Donald Gregg, a former U.S. ambassador to Seoul, arrived in Pyongyang Monday at the invitation of the North Korean Foreign Ministry. Lynn Turk, another former U.S. diplomat, who held talks in Pyongyang in the 1990s, said they were there "to build bridges" between their countries. Neither Turk nor Gregg mentioned Bae.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits South Korea later this week with issues concerning Pyongyang likely to dominate the talks.

    On Friday, the U.S. State Department said the 45-year-old Bae has been transferred from a hospital to a labor camp.

    North Korea arrested Bae in late 2012 and later sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor on charges of trying to overthrow the government.

    Calls for his release on humanitarian grounds have gone unanswered.

    Bae was born in South Korea and emigrated to the United States with his parents and sister in 1985. He was living in China as a Christian missionary for about seven years before his arrest.

    Within the last few years, he began leading small tour groups, mostly of American and Canadian citizens, into a "special economic zone" designed to encourage commerce in northeastern North Korea.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora