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WASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) - The United States plans on Thursday to call on North Korea to grant amnesty to Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen sentenced to 15 years hard labor for what Pyongyang said were crimes against the state, a U.S. official told Reuters.
Bae, 44, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in South Korea. His sentencing came after two months of saber-rattling by Pyongyang that saw North Korea threaten both the United States and South Korea with nuclear war.
The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Washington was not currently looking for an envoy to try to secure Bae's release as it has sometimes done in the past.
The official said the United States has sought in recent years to break out of the historical pattern of lurching from one crisis to another with the North, only to resolve them with transactional deals with Pyongyang.
President Barack Obama's aides have described their policy as one of "strategic patience" which seeks to isolate North Korea and not offer diplomatic or economic rewards for its provocations. (Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Vicki Allen)