The State Department said on Tuesday that an envoy was headed to North Korea to press for the release of an American who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the country. The visit is being made by Bob King, an envoy for the North Korean human rights issues. His trip will mark the first public US administration official visit to the authoritarian nation in more than two years.
It is also hoped that King’s journey would help improve the relations between the two nations that are severely strained by the relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang.
King to request a pardon
During his NK visit, King would request for pardon and amnesty for Kenneth Bae on humanitarian grounds. 45-year-old Bae was arrested in November and was accused of committing ‘hostile acts’ against the Asian nation. He suffered from several health problems and was recently hospitalized.
Washington has been calling for an amnesty ever since Bae was sentenced on April 30.