Carter has no plan to visit DPRK: spokeswoman

2013-05-03 01:10:25 GMT2013-05-03 09:10:25(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has no plan to visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for the release of a U.S. citizen who was sentenced 15 years of compulsory labor by Pyongyang, his spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"President Carter has not had an invitation to visit North Korea(DPRK) and has no plans to visit," Carter's spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said in a statement.

The U.S. State Department on Thursday urged the DPRK to immediately release the sentenced U.S. citizen, identified by Washington as Kenneth Bae and by Pyongyang as Pae Jun Ho respectively.

The DPRK's official KCNA news agency said Thursday that Pae Jun Ho, the defendant, was arrested while "committing hostile acts against the DPRK" after entering Rason City as a tourist on Nov. 3 last year.

Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 and served as U.S. president from 1977 to 1981, made a historic trip to the DPRK for the first time in 1994 to help defuse a crisis over the country's nuclear program.

In 2010, Carter paid a three-day private visit to Pyongyang to secure the release of an American citizen, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who was detained by the DPRK for entering the country illegally.

From Jan. 7 to 10, Former U.S. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt paid a " private humanitarian" visit to Pyongyang, which was reportedly linked to the release of Bae.

However, Richardson did not elaborate on whether he met Bae or not while commenting the private trip as "a productive and successful one."

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