WASHINGTON — The U.S. government was going to send their North Korean human rights envoy to North Korea to negotiate the release of an imprisoned and ailing U.S. citizen, who was providing tours and Christian humanitarian service along the North Korea-China border. But, the North Korean government just revoked his invitation to come to North Korea earlier today.
Reuters reported that Robert King, a Brigham Young University graduate and currently the U.S. human rights envoy to North Korea, was planning to negotiate a release with the North Korean government.
In the State Department release, it said that King’s goal was a “humanitarian mission focused on securing the release of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae”. King was going to seek a special amnesty on humanitarian grounds, considering that Bae suffers from diabetes and should be reunited with his family.
Bae has been imprisoned after being caught giving tours along the North Korea-China border and sentenced to at least 15 years of hard labor and imprisonment, a rather stiff sentence even for the North Korean government.
The North Korean government under Kim Jong Un has been grandstanding and at one point, threatened all-out war against its southern neighbor South Korea.