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U.S. envoy leaves N. Korea after winning release of American citizen

A U.S. government team led by Robert King left North Korea on Saturday, the North's state media said, after winning the release of an American citizen detained in the reclusive state for the past six months.

   King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, left North Korea "by air after visiting the DPRK (North Korea) to consult humanitarian issues between the DPRK and the U.S.," the KCNA news agency said in a brief dispatch.

   On Friday, North Korea said it would release the Korean-American missionary, Jun Young-su, on "humanitarian grounds." Jun was arrested last November for committing a crime against the North.

   During the five-day visit, King "expressed regret" over Jun's alleged crime and assured to prevent such an incident from happening again, the KCNA said Friday.

   The Saturday report by the KCNA didn't mention how Jun would be allowed to return home. However, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Jun left Pyongyang with King on Saturday. Jun "is expected to return home via Beijing with Robert King," the report said, without citing a source.

   King visited North Korea this week to assess the North's food situation, a possible indication of the resumption of U.S. food aid to the North.

(Yonhap News)