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Bill Clinton Heads to N. Korea

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Bill Clinton has traveled to North Korea to seek and negotiate the release of two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee. The 2 are accused of entering the country illegally. Both Ling and Lee have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in a North Korean prison camp. Link

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is headed to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists imprisoned there since March, a source with detailed knowledge of the former president's movements said Monday.

The women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, are reporters for California-based Current TV, a media venture of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who served under Clinton. They were arrested while reporting on the border between North Korea and China and sentenced in June to 12 years in prison on charges of entering the country illegally to conduct a smear campaign.

The United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea. Efforts to resolve the issue so far have been handled through Sweden, which represents U.S. interests in the reclusive communist state.

Last month, Clinton's wife -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- said the United States had dropped its request for Ling and Lee to be released on humanitarian grounds and instead was seeking amnesty, which implies forgiveness for an offense.

Clinton's mission comes as the United States and its allies in the region are trying to push North Korea back into stalled nuclear disarmament talks. North Korea conducted a nuclear bomb test, its second, in May, and has conducted several missile tests since then. The United Nations responded by tightening and expanding sanctions on the North.

The two nations were on opposite sides in the 1950-1953 Korean War and had no regular contacts before a 1994 crisis over North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea agreed at that time to halt the development of nuclear weapons, but abandoned that accord and withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003.

Both Lee and Ling are political pawns.
There was no "crime" committed by these 2 journalists, but due to poor US relations and the tension to force North Korea to desist their nuclear pursuits, North Korea are using these 2 American journalists as pawns.

North Korea has never been opened to diplomacy, so I don't know what Bill Clinton can say or do to help with their release.

My gut feeling on the fate of these 2 women is very bleek.
I'm afraid the 2 will be imprisoned for life!

Comments  

 
0 # Latest NewsGuest 2009-08-04 15:03
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il issued a "special pardon" freeing two jailed American journalists after talks with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, North Korea's official news agency announced Wednesday.

Clinton, who arrived in North Korea Tuesday on an unannounced visit, met with the reclusive and ailing Kim for talks described by Pyongyang as "exhaustive." It was Kim's first meeting with a prominent Western figure since his reported stroke nearly a year ago.

The release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were arrested March 17 near the China-North Korea border, was a sign of North Korea's "humanitarian and peace-loving policy," the Korean Central News Agency reported.

State media said Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama's gratitude. The report said the visit would "contribute to deepening the understanding" between North Korea and the U.S.

news.yahoo.com/.../... (news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090804/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_journalists_held)
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0 # Good job BillGuest 2009-08-04 17:04
Only Bill can do this! Great Job!
Your next mission - go to Iran and help release those hikers.
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