Jimmy Carter (Photo: Jaime Henry-White, AP)
(USA TODAY) -- Former President Jimmy Carter is reportedly planning a visit to North Korea to try and free an imprisoned American.
The South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that Carter has contacted North Korea about making a trip in a personal capacity to seek the release of U.S. citizen and Christian missionary Kenneth Bae.
"Bae, who is in his mid 40s, was sentenced in May to 15 years hard labor by North Korea's Supreme Court after being detained in November as he led a tour group through the northern region of the country. North Korea said Bae was participating in activities designed to overthrow the government, by infiltrating at least 250 students into the country.
"Bae has acknowledged to being a missionary and has said he had conducted services in the North. Bae said he had been moved by his faith to preach in North Korea, ranked the most hostile to Christianity by Open Doors International, a Christian advocacy and aid group, since the late 2000s."