This is, however, not so much a success story of rescue but rather a cunning tactic by North Korea leader, Kim Jong-il, to summon the most senior states person they could muster. Given that the White House wanted to remain tough against North Korea's nuclear buildup, Clinton seemed like a good enough alternative.
Rumored to be unwell and even dying, Kim Jong-il was the picture of health in the many photo ops he had with Bill Clinton. Kim knew the high profile detention of the journalists and pardon arranged with Clinton would bring international interest. Mission accomplish. We know North Korea will back on track with their agenda.