February 21, 2024

Gregg visits N. Korea, but not necessarily for Bae

Visit by former ambassador not focused on detained missionary but part of ongoing Track II diplomacy

Former United States Ambassador to Korea and current Chairman of the Pacific Century Institute Donald Gregg arrived in North Korea leading a delegation of four on Monday. Gregg’s visit comes as North Korea withdrew its invitation for Robert King, the U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, who was expected to negotiate Kenneth Bae’s release. However, the delegation’s visit is part of ongoing diplomacy with Pyongyang and not specifically intended to discuss Bae.

The four-man delegation from the Pacific Century Institute (PCI) arrived at Pyongyang-Sunan International Airport in North Korea Monday on the latest visit in an ongoing process of Track II diplomacy between PCI and North Korea. The delegation does not represent the United States government and are in North Korea as private citizens. The Los Angles-based PCI is a non-profit organization focused on the Pacific Rim, especially the Korean Peninsula. PCI seeks to improve relations between Pacific Rim nations through dialogue and education. The delegation will be in Pyongyang until Friday and return to Los Angeles via Beijing and Seoul.