US Senator Kerry has no plans for NKorea visit: aides

WASHINGTON - Democratic US Senator John Kerry has an "open-ended" invitation to visit North Korea but has made no decision yet about whether to travel there, a top aide said Wednesday.
"Senator Kerry was extended an invitation contemporaneous to the negotiations over the release of the two journalists," Laura Ling and Euna Lee, said a spokesman for the lawmaker, Frederick Jones.

US Senator Kerry has no plans for NKorea visit: aides
"That invitation, we believe to be open-ended. But no decision has been made about traveling to the DPRK," Jones said after a South Korean news report speculated that Kerry might go to North Korea in late 2009.
North Korea's invitation came roughly at the time that former US president Bill Clinton traveled to Pyongyang for talks to free the television journalists, who were released in August.
The Massachusetts senator, who lost his 2004 bid for president, chairs the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and was once thought to be a top candidate for secretary of state under President Barack Obama.
Washington announced last Friday that it was willing to hold bilateral talks with Pyongyang to try to bring it back to six-party nuclear disarmament negotiations.
The six-party talks group the two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia and the United States. The North quit the forum in April after the UN censured its long-range rocket launch and has instead sought direct talks with Washington.

Wednesday, September 16th 2009

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