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North Korea cancels trip by U.S. envoy seeking Bae's release: U.S.

Robert King, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, stands in front of campaign posters of Japan's abduction issue during
Robert King, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, stands in front of campaign posters of Japan's abduction issue during

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea canceled a planned trip for a U.S. envoy to travel to Pyongyang on Friday and Saturday to seek the release of imprisoned and ailing American missionary Kenneth Bae, the U.S. State Department said.

"We are surprised and disappointed by North Korea's decision," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said of the North's decision to withdraw its invitation to Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues.

"We remain gravely concerned about Mr. Bae's health and we continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant Mr. Bae special amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds," the spokeswoman said in a written statement, referring to the North by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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