The U.S. State Department announced its disappointment after North Korean officials rescinded for a second time an invitation to discuss the release of American Missionary Kenneth Bae, Christian News Network reports.
This follows on the heels of an earlier report, where North Korea first rescinded its invitation to allow a U.S. envoy to visit for talks regarding Bae’s case.
“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,” an unnamed representative told reporters on Monday. “The DPRK announced publicly in May 2013 it would not use the fate of Kenneth Bae as a political bargaining chip.”
Bae, who operates a tourist company in Washington state, was arrested not far from the city of Yanji in November 2012, where some Christian groups provide aid to North Korean refugees. It is stated that Bae has made a number of trips to North Korea to assist orphaned children.
In a video recording released last week, Bae states he is concerned about his health after being sent back to the labor camp following his hospital release.
“I know if I continue for the next several months here, I will probably be sent back to the hospital again,” he said.
At last Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama asked for the release of Kenneth Bae.
“Let us pray for Kenneth Bae,” Obama said. “His family wants him home, and the United States will continue to do everything in our power to secure his release.”
Publication Date: February 11, 2014.