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Imprisoned American May Be Released

North Korea may be adopting a humanitarian approach in the case of an imprisoned American, and the State Department says that is an encouraging sign that Evan C. Hunziker could be released.

Accused of spying and illegal entry into the country, Hunziker has been confined since late August. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Wednesday that Hunziker had been moved from a hotel some 400 miles from Pyongyang to a jail closer to the North Korean capital.

American and North Korean diplomats met at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, the U.S. official said. He said he hoped Hunziker would be given humanitarian consideration.

The State Department consistently has denied Hunziker spied or confessed to spying.