N. Korea won't invite US figure over jailed American

North Korea said Sunday it would not invite any leading US figure to seek the release of a jailed American and he would not become a "bargaining chip" in any political negotiations.

"Some media of the U.S. said that the DPRK (North Korea) tried to use Pae's case as a political bargaining chip. This is a ridiculous and wrong guess," a foreign ministry spokesman told the official KCNA news agency.

"The DPRK has no plan to invite anyone of the US as regards Pae's issue."

The North said Thursday it had sentenced Pae, known in the US as Kenneth Bae, to 15 years' hard labour for "hostile acts" aimed at toppling the communist regime at a trial on April 30.

The Korean-American tour operator was arrested in November as he entered the northeastern port city of Rason.

Several Americans have been held in the North in recent years, and been freed after visits by high-profile Americans such as former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

In 2010 Carter negotiated the release of US citizen Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who was sentenced to eight years' hard labour for illegally entering the country.

In 2009 Clinton managed to free US television journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, also jailed for an illegal border crossing.

The ministry spokesman said Pyongyang had showed "generosity... from the humanitarian point of view" in the past, but the latest case proved that such generosity will "be in no use in ending Americans' illegal acts".

"As long as the US hostile policy goes on, American's illegal acts should be countered with strict legal sanctions. This is a conclusion drawn by the DPRK."

Carter's spokeswoman said Thursday he had received no invitation to visit the North and had no plan to make a trip, after a report by Seoul's Yonhap news agency that the Nobel laureate intended to pay another visit.

Back in 1994 Carter paid a landmark visit to North Korea and negotiated an end to a nuclear crisis that had raised fears of war.

The latest development comes amid high military tension on the peninsula.

Pyongyang, angered by new UN sanctions for its third nuclear test in February and by US-South Korean joint military drills, has issued blistering threats of missile and nuclear attacks targeting the South and the United States.

The United States has called for the immediate release of Bae, whose alleged offence is unclear.

Seoul-based activist Do Hee-Yoon has told AFP he suspected Bae was arrested because he had taken photographs of emaciated children in North Korea as part of efforts to appeal for more outside aid.

The North's spokesman said Sunday that Bae's belongings confirmed the crime for which he was convicted but did not elaborate.

"He entered the DPRK with a disguised identity in an intentional way under the back-stage manipulation of the forces hostile toward the DPRK," the spokesman said, adding he had made a confession.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • EM ASIA FX-Won near 2-month low on plunging yen, peso pares gains as growth weakens

    * S.Korea intervention spotted, won hits 7-year high vs yen * Philippine peso briefly weaker after Q1 growth disappoints (Adds text, updates prices) By Jongwoo Cheon SEOUL, May 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's ... …

  • Britain's tied visa rules fuel abuse of live-in maids, nannies

    By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Susi, a single mother from the Philippines, left for a job in Qatar, she convinced herself it was a sacrifice worth making for her children at home. For more than a year, Susi's sacrifice involved waking before dawn and working past midnight, cooking, cleaning and looking after a Qatari family. Conditions deteriorated when Susi was brought to Britain by her boss. …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss

    BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing ... …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter, ... …

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options