Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mission Accomplished - North Korea is Back on Top

American reporters for Al Gore's Current TV, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were detained and sentence to 12 years of hard labor by the North Korea government when they illegally entered Northern territory in March of this year. In an unprecedented non-US sanctioned diplomatic overture, Bill Clinton met with North Korean officials and worked out a successful pardon for the young reporters. I won't speculate how much the White House was involved but fair to say, Clinton most likely relayed Obama's sentiments during the trip.

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.

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