North Korea has withdrawn an invitation to a senior U.S. official who had planned to travel to Pyongyang to seek the release of an American detained there since 2012.
Kenneth Bae was arrested in November 2012, after North Korea accused him of crimes against the state. On Friday, the State Department learned he had been transferred from a hospital to a labor camp in late January.
One official confirmed to Reuters the government rescinded its offer for a senior official to visit and help rescue Bae.
Rev. Jesse Jackson had also offered to go to North Korea to try to secure Bae’s release.
“At the request of the Bae family, Reverend Jackson offered to travel to Pyongyang on a humanitarian mission focused on Bae's release. We support the efforts of the Bae family and Reverend Jackson to bring Bae home," the State Department official continued.
Bae’s family has previously urged former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman to help their relative. Rodman has traveled to North Korea more than once to socialize with leader Kim Jong Un.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) also traveled to North Korea early last year to try to help Bae but failed to secure his release.