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U.S. 'disappointed' by Pyongyang's cancellation of envoy invitation

2014/02/10 07:52

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has revoked its invitation again for a U.S. special envoy to visit Pyongyang for talks on Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American man detained there, a U.S. official confirmed Sunday.

Amb. Robert King, special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, had planned to travel to the reclusive nation within this month.

"This is the second time (this has happened) ... We are deeply disappointed," the official told Yonhap News Agency over the phone.

The State Department official, speaking on background, did not specify a reason for North Korea's abrupt cancellation of a decision to allow King's trip.

But he indicated it might be related with the North's typical displeasure with the annual joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea.

Over the weekend the militaries of the allies informed North Korea of its plans for the exercises to open in late February.

The exercises, which are "transparent, regularly scheduled and defense-oriented," are "in no way linked to Mr. Bae's case," added the official.

In August, the North rescinded its invitation for King, who attempted to visit Pyongyang to resolve the Bae issue.

Bae, a Christian missionary, was arrested by North Korean authorities in November 2012, after entering the communist nation on a tourist visit.

lcd@yna.co.kr

leechidong@gmail.com

(END)

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