US Spy Chief Describes Weird North Korea Visit

Banquet was followed by security warning
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2015 5:12 AM CST
US Spy Chief: North Korea Visit Was Weird
Matthew Miller walks off the plane Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after he was freed during a top-secret mission by James Clapper.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The North Koreans are generous but perplexing hosts, according to National Intelligence Director James Clapper. According to Reuters, the spy chief says that during his secret mission to Pyongyang last November to bring two Americans home, a general treated him to a "marvelous" 12-course banquet at a restaurant that sat over a bowling alley—but the next day, officials told him that he was no longer considered a presidential envoy and his group's safety could no longer be guaranteed.

Clapper says he was then taken to a hotel where Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller were handed over before the group headed to the airport. For those wishing to sample North Korean hospitality, Pyongyang says it has now lifted tough travel restrictions brought in over fears of Ebola, the AP reports. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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