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  • Clinton in North Korea: Risky Business

    Former President Bill Clinton arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee who, just hours earlier, had been prisoners of Kim Jong-il’s North Korean regime. Every American should be relieved that Lee and Ling are home safe, but Americans should also know that this is not the first time North Korea has captured Americans and been rewarded with a high-ranking American envoy.

    In 1994 and then again in 1996, then-Congressman Bill Richardson met with the North Korean regime to free American prisoners. The danger is not just again rewarding North Korea’s Mafiaesque behavior with a legitimizing photo-op, but also what else Clinton conveyed to North Korea in their “exhaustive conservation.” Heritage Asian Studies Center senior research fellow Bruce Klingner elaborates:

    Clinton was greeted at the airport by Kim Kye-kwan, North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator, generating speculation that Pyongyang seeks to use his visit as a springboard to establishing bilateral dialogue with the Obama Administration. North Korea has abandoned the six-party talks but indicated it is amenable to discussing its nuclear weapons programs bilaterally with Washington.

    North Korea’s agreement to receive Clinton will be misinterpreted as a signal that Pyongyang is now willing to resume nuclear negotiations, perhaps because it feels sufficiently comfortable on establishing its leadership succession plans. Pyongyang will continue to insist, however, on preconditions unacceptable to the U.S., such as first being accepted as a nuclear weapons state and Washington reducing its military posture toward the regime.

    The Obama Administration’s acquiescence to sending Bill Clinton, when it had reportedly rejected requests from Bill Richardson and former Vice President Al Gore, will raise speculation over possible policy reversals on this and other North Korean issues. Will the Obama Administration accept less than it previously insisted upon in order to make progress with North Korea? U.S. allies South Korea and Japan remain exceedingly nervous that Obama will eventually abandon the U.S. policy of denuclearizing North Korea and accept a lower standard of merely preventing future nuclear proliferation.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Clinton in North Korea: Risky Business

    1. 'downtown' says:

      Mt first visit to your site brought about by the desire for information on this topic and I was unpleasantly surprised. A flat out statement that the trip will be 'misrepresented' is borne out of ignorance or a poorly thought-out attempt to inflect the Heritage's views with little or no balance with the facts.

      Another statement that because Richardson or Gore did not go the North Koreans will speculate that US policy will now favor their nuclear program.

      Wow, my junior high school debate teacher would reprimand your writing team for illogical involvement with issues too complex for them.

    2. Norris Hall says:

      I agree, they should pack the bags of the two journalists and send them back to prison to rot.

      If they can't figure out where the borders of North Korea are…maybe they will after 12 years hard labor.

      Same goes for the idiot GI that wandered off base and is now in Taliban hands while his comrades risk their lives trying to find him.

      Same goes for the three stupid hikers who strayed across the borders of Iran. People who can't read a map shouldn't be allowed to hike.

      Seems like we have a rash of folks who just can't help playing chicken with our enemies.

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    5. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Ever heard of slight of hand? Gore's television, Clinton's personality, Obama's miscarriage of the Constitution not being focused on while the World looks to two unknown reporters allowed to come home?


    6. Gary- General Delive says:

      What a stupid "soap opera." Can anyone possibly believe that North Korea is anything other than a puppet for Red China? The Chinese use N. Korea like a stick and string to play with the West, like it was a kittycat, only in this case it's not for fun, it's a deadly game, with a very well planned long term goal. A few years ago, a Chinese General said, "The history of the world since the renaissance, it a mistake that will soon be recified." Learn Chinese, and study physics folks, they are up next.

    7. Carol in az says:

      I like others, viewed the cozy home-coming story covered by all mainstream mass media yesterday.

      I wished to hear someone from the American press step-up, an report fairly regardig this story and media hyperbole what this debacle is really about.

      L & L with full deplicity from the media they work for, owned by Al Gore , got U.S approved passports (or) visa's and left for N.K.

      They clearinly had an a pre-approved agneda.

      To sneak into N.K an get a precious story about???for sadly 15 secs. of fame.

      Their arrogance violated international bountry's and laws and a few steps across the bounder of N.K. were interdicted by Border police.

      As statated, they were houseed in a guest house, allowed to call their families and by gosh were released.

      I think they should be fined for their nitwit actions, disallowed to continue to be working as reporters and have their passports and visa's denied.

      This has Jane Fondism written all over it.

    8. nick, los angeles says:

      Here's a thought. If Bill Clinton went to N. Korea without the approval of b.hussein's administration, and not only negotiated for the release of the two morons, but some other agreement on behalf of the U.S., why isn't he being charged under the Logan Act?

    9. william boyer says:

      I doubt that any of the people writing about this issue with such venom are in possession of even ten percent of the facts. Two women have been saved from being worked to death. That is good enough for me. What a nasty world we have created.

    10. Mike Mancuso, San Jo says:

      This is just more Obama misdirection. The most laughable and transparent yet. Al Gore's

      inept "journalists" should have been spanked, not lauded for their bravery.

    11. Carol in az says:

      The two women , not girls, who are seasoned international journelist, knew exactly what they were doing.

      Naturally we are all happy about the out-out given the hard facts.

      But the hard facts were never stated nor hinted at by any reporting.

      We have all seen the results of inaction on a global level starting with events in the U.S.A. because of, No accountability, on any level for problem solving and decisiveness.

      Can we also see how this lack of intelligence for ones actions is connected on so many levels.

      The press handled this entire event as if there was no responsibilty for personal actions,by L & L agenda

      The facts are; they were clearly breaking many laws, and were so naive, and stupid thoughting they were going to get away with this farcical event, speaks loudly, of "The Ungly American" on all levels.

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