Gov. Bill Richardson says he hopes to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula during a trip to North Korea.
Richardson made the statement Tuesday as he left New Mexico on his latest unofficial diplomatic mission.
Richardson is going to North Korea at the invitation of the Pyongyang regime. He returns Dec. 20.
The Democratic governor's private trip comes three weeks after North Korea shelled a South Korean island, killing four people.
The State Department says Richardson isn't delivering a message for the U.S. government.
This will be Richardson's third trip to North Korea since he became governor in 2003. Richardson's term ends this month.
Richardson served as U.N. ambassador in the Clinton administration.