Richardson Leaves For North Korea Tuesday

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson's office says the New Mexico Democrat will visit North Korea at the invitation of the communist nation's chief nuclear negotiator.

Richardson will leave New Mexico on Tuesday and return Dec. 20. The U.S. State Department says he won't carry any message from the U.S. government.

Richardson says he's "increasingly concerned" with the North's recent actions, which he says are "contributing to instability on the Korean Peninsula."

He says if he can help ease tensions after the North shelled a South Korean island, "the trip will be well worth it."

Richardson has traveled to North Korea seven times, most recently in 2007. He was U.N. ambassador in the Clinton administration and for years has served as a roving diplomatic troubleshooter.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.