July 29, 2013 / 4:18 AM / 6 years ago

White House: Carter traveling to North Korea in personal capacity

A man walks past North Korean national flags in Pyongyang July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is traveling to North Korea on a private trip, the White House said on Monday, commenting on reports that Carter was going to the reclusive nation soon to win release of an American citizen being held there.

Earlier on Monday a representative for Carter said he had no immediate plans to make such a trip.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Carter was going on his own.

“President Carter is traveling to North Korea on a private trip. He’s doing that in his personal capacity,” Earnest said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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