The North Koreans say they have no plans to invite a high level American to negotiate the release of Korean American Kenneth Bae, reports the Bangkok Post.
Bae (known in North Korea as Pae Jun Ho) has been held captive since November. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “unspecified crimes against the state” earlier this month.
Former President Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have helped to negotiate the release of past American captives in North Korea.
“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.
“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.