North Koreans Sentence American to 15 Years of Hard Labor


A pigeon flies over a fence decorated with ribbons, on which people have written their hopes for peace and reunification of the divided Korean peninsula, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul April 14, 2013. The United States said on Saturday that China had agreed to help rid North Korea of its nuclear capability by peaceful means, but Beijing made no specific commitment in public to pressure its long-time ally to change its ways. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTXYKVD



Washington is calling on officials in Pyongyang to grant amnesty to Kenneth Bae, a tour operator from Washington state who was arrested in November for alleged anti-government crimes.

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If the past is any guide, North Korea is hoping the sentencing will trigger a high-profile US mission to negotiate Bae's release.

Jeffrey Bader, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former advisor to President Obama says sending a delegation would only encourage more "bad behavior" from Pyongyang.