The Straits Times
Published on Jan 10, 2013

Politician Bill Richardson did not meet US detainee in North Korea


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.