Robert King, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, arrived here Sunday for talks with South Korean officials.
King's trip comes as Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary, remains detained in the communist North since he was caught nearly a year ago.
The Korean-American has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by a North Korean court for committing an unspecified crime against the state.
Ambassador King had hoped to visit Pyongyang for talks on Bae's possible release in August on the North's invitation, but had not been able to as the communist state withdrew its invitation at the last minute.
The U.S. envoy is set to meet with officials from South Korea's foreign and unification ministries before heading to Japan on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)