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Politician Bill Richardson did not meet US detainee in North Korea

Published on Jan 10, 2013 5:31 PM
Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (centre) and Google chairman Eric Schmidt (centre left) talk to the media after arriving at Beijing airport from North Korea on Jan 10, 2013. Richardson and Schmidt met with reporters following their visit to secretive North Korea calling for greater internet freedom for the welfare of its people. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - US politician Bill Richardson, who returned on Thursday from a controversial visit to North Korea, said he did not meet a detained American whose case he had cited as part of the reason for the trip.

But Mr Richardson said he was given assurances about the good health of Mr Kenneth Bae, 44, who was arrested last November and was said by official media to have admitted an unspecified crime against the state.

Mr Bae, an American of Korean descent, was being kept far from the capital Pyongyang and so could not be visited, Mr Richardson told reporters at Beijing airport.

His situation was one of the key themes that the delegation had raised with North Korean officials, added Mr Richardson, a former New Mexico governor and ex-ambassador to the United Nations.

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