North Korea frees American journalists after Clinton visit

posted at 4:34 pm on August 4, 2009 by Allahpundit

A great result for all concerned at a relatively low cost. The journalists get freedom; The One gets the political benefit of bringing two Americans home safely; Billy Jeff gets the ego massage of knowing he’s still a player on the global stage; and Kim gets what he’s forever seeking, namely, the prestige of posing a sufficiently significant threat to America as to command an audience with a former president. Everyone wins! Well, except Hillary.

State media claims an apology was involved, and aside from Barry O, who’s more practiced at that sort of thing than Bill Clinton?

North Korea will pardon two jailed US journalists after visiting former president Bill Clinton apologised to leader Kim Jong-Il for their behaviour, state media reported Wednesday.

“The measure taken to release the American journalists is a manifestation of the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) humanitarian and peace-loving policy,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported…

“Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong-Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it,” KCNA reported.

“Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong-Il an earnest request of the US government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view,” it said…

KCNA said Clinton’s meetings with leader Kim and with his official number two Kim Yong-Nam featured “candid and in-depth discussions on the pending issues between the DPRK and the US in a sincere atmosphere and reached a consensus of views on seeking a negotiated settlement of them”.

Normally I’d dismiss the idea of Clinton apologizing for the crime of journalism as North Korean propaganda, but after today’s betrayal of democracy, I’m not so sure. Exit question one: The media’s bound to greet this with another round of “Hillary marginalized!” stories, but isn’t it better that Obama sent a private citizen than the secretary of state? The difficulty here was giving Kim enough to get the journalists back without giving him so much that it would sacrifice the prestige of the U.S. government. Having the head of the State Department jet off to Pyongyang to beg for mercy would have been humiliating. Having the Clenis do it — well, who cares? Exit question two: Any hawk worth his or her salt will bristle at the thought of Kim being “rewarded” for kidnapping journalists with a state visit by a former C-in-C, but isn’t that perfectly consistent with our North Korea policy? They’re a major threat to launch a regional war but they’re also oddly easily placated by sporadic attention (and food assistance, natch) from the United States. A state visit every 10-12 years to keep Kim stable-ish and out of our hair seems like a bargain as a way to buy time until the regime eventually implodes.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

I wonder if ole Bill asked the ladies if they wanted to become a member of his mile high club? He would like to introduce them to his Presidential staff.

la.rt.wngr on August 4, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Well done Bill!
Someone had to do it…
I’m glad they are going to be home and safe.

BHO gets no props. He’s a tool.

kareyk on August 4, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Haha. President B. Hussein wins again. But hey, you guys have Sarah Palin!

Ha.ha.

simplesimon on August 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Bill should be SOS….Fire Hillary

izoneguy on August 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM

simplesimon on August 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM

hey troll, when did he win before? what issue is winning?

kareyk on August 4, 2009 at 8:14 PM

So, former Prez Clinton goes to NorK to pick up a couple of young women. Where to next? Phuket? Bangkok?

Sam Adams on August 4, 2009 at 8:20 PM

So, how much of our nuclear technology did tehy get in return for the girls?

ToddonCapeCod on August 4, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Just watched on Fox Billy getting on his private plane with the 2 jounalist, my husband looks over and says, “he’s getting a bj on the way home”.

silenced majority on August 4, 2009 at 9:08 PM

State media claims an apology was involved,

Our State media, or NoKo’?

massrighty on August 4, 2009 at 9:18 PM

I just have to ask if you people are so naive to think that the administration had NO SAY in this given the high sensitivity of issue given where these people are imprisioned which contributes to how much danger they were in and obvious geopolitical nature of the incident.

I find it hard to believe that the government would approve of anyone going over to meet with the leader of North Korea on their own willy nilly. You people are being way too cynical.

Norvell on August 4, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Pablo on August 4, 2009 at 6:22 PM

We do not have diplomatic relations with nor recognition of North Korea.

H.R. 1980 (this past April) is now committee. It calls for a ban on recognition. Not rescinding recognition, nor limiting recognition, but banning recognition.

Further the talks in Geneva were not part of any sort of official recognition of North Korea, but an initiative by the Clinton Administration to get North Korea to stop its fissile material enrichment program and offer North Korea light water reactors to replace their graphite breeding-capable reactors at Yongbyon.

While the October 1994 agreement discussed in a broad sense the possibility of eventual recognition, this entire agreement has long since been abrogated by North Korea in toto.

Thus the October 1994 Geneva Agreement is completely moot.

Recognition is a legal term, set in international law (actually the oldest form of international law) and imposes standards, restrictions and obligations. it is a lot more than merely declaring that you are going to open an embassy. And one can have discussions, dealings and talks with a nation one does not recognize. This sort of thing happens often, actually.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Norvell on August 4, 2009 at 9:23 PM

There is no way this Administration did not have anything to do with Clinton’s “rescue mission” to P’yongyang.

Approval at at least the NSC level had to be obtained…we are dealing with a former president, not just some random do-gooder from the general population, and these “reporters” were employed by an organization that is run in part by a former vice president.

So, yes, the Administration was involved, and they are offering a fairly flimsy fig leaf to boot.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2009 at 9:41 PM

Where is Team America when you need them most?

paulsur on August 4, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Haha. President B. Hussein wins again. But hey, you guys have Sarah Palin!

Ha.ha.

simplesimon on August 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM

You really think Bill Clinton’s going to share the credit with Obama on this one after last year’s little kerfuffle in North Carolina?

jon1979 on August 4, 2009 at 9:48 PM

I don’t care about the politics, I am just glad these two women are safe. Those North Korean detention centers are disgusting and heart wrenching.

I just hope they were not subjected to the usual treatment of political dissidents. That stuff makes me sick, and I have the constitution of a Pit Bull raised on spikes and nails.

Thank you, Mr. Clinton and Obama. I don’t say that often, and might not ever do so again.

Multibucket on August 4, 2009 at 10:15 PM

As I have said before, this is no big deal, Jesse Jackson brought back hostages in the 90s.

LevStrauss on August 4, 2009 at 10:23 PM

We do not have diplomatic relations with nor recognition of North Korea.

H.R. 1980 (this past April) is now committee. It calls for a ban on recognition. Not rescinding recognition, nor limiting recognition, but banning recognition.

We’re a bit late, as the Norks pulled the plug first. But as soon as that becomes law, then we’ll have a law banning recognition of North Korea. We didn’t have that (and we still don’t) when we were signing deals with them.

Further the talks in Geneva were not part of any sort of official recognition of North Korea, but an initiative by the Clinton Administration to get North Korea to stop its fissile material enrichment program and offer North Korea light water reactors to replace their graphite breeding-capable reactors at Yongbyon.

Right. Achieved through diplomatic relations. We signed a two party agreement. Us and them. You’re saying we signed a deal with an entity we didn’t recognize? And that happened without diplomatic relations?

While the October 1994 agreement discussed in a broad sense the possibility of eventual recognition, this entire agreement has long since been abrogated by North Korea in toto.

Thus the October 1994 Geneva Agreement is completely moot.

Yeah, but it wasn’t moot then. It also wasn’t a good idea. Appeasement rarely is.

Pablo on August 4, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Pablo on August 4, 2009 at 10:27 PM

You still do not understand the legal concept of recognition.

Take the FSO exam, oral and written, pass your final interview, spend a year at the DoS FSO School in Rosslyn, get back to me afterward.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Im not Slick Willies biggest fan, but I sure hope that 0bama got a text on his Crackberry from Bill saying “What’s your job, again? Oh.. and ask Michelle if you can take them out of the box yet”

Wolftech on August 5, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Wolftech on August 5, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Thought they were in a little jar on her vanity.

coldwarrior on August 5, 2009 at 12:41 AM

I NEVER thought I’d look back at the Clinton years and think those were the “good old days”.

I’m going to be sick.

Spiritk9 on August 5, 2009 at 12:55 AM

Pff, if Billy Bob wanted to really do the job right, he would have gone all Jack Bauer on the NoKo’s and left a bunch of C4 planted at the crazy midget’s house, remotely activated it upon takeoff, and said “Heyyy, ladies, look out the window, this is for ya’ll”

sgtstogie on August 5, 2009 at 1:08 AM

Here’s a twist…

Kim Chong-il apparently asked for Bill Clinton to come to P’yongyang.

Guess KCI really “hearts” Bill.

There is much more to this “rescue mission” than is being allowed to meet the eye.

coldwarrior on August 5, 2009 at 1:21 AM

Thank you, Bill. We can never know what NK will do, and Bill put his life on the line. Hell, Fearless Leader could have been thinking the mercurial thought “I think I’ll arrest a former American President for war crimes today.”

I’m not a Clinton fan, but he did the right thing. Now those two idiots can get on with their lives — hopefully, far away from the NK border.

unclesmrgol on August 5, 2009 at 1:24 AM

Just heared some yahoo on Fox News saying that Bill Clinton is the ‘smartest man in the United States’ in reference to his, Clinton’s work in N.K. I just want to puke and I haven’t event even had my first cup of java (been upn all night). Bill the “smartest man in the U.S.”? Give me a break…he’s out doing his wife, the president, etc….and I’m so sorry..,but any ‘dude’ that did the ‘blue dress’ is NOT the smartest dude in the U.S. While it’s great the 2 journalist from Gore’s ‘lord only know’s what world he’s from’ news agency’, I’m very glad the journalists are safe. But what does this say to Hillary and the administration, other than they are weak and incapable of anything that requires true negotiations. Perhaps I’m just giddy from being up all night.

lyfsatrip on August 5, 2009 at 6:16 AM

he’s out doing his wife, the president, etc

lyfsatrip on August 5, 2009 at 6:16 AM

I thought Hillary wouldn’t let Bill near her?

And the pres? He bats for the other team?

And who else?

All I know is that when he was President he certainly did us.

:-)

coldwarrior on August 5, 2009 at 7:14 AM

Ah, so Obama sends Clinton to NK, Clinton secures the release of a couple of your fellow citizens and all you clowns do it b*tch b*tch b*tch.

Hotair is so predictable.

Dave Rywall on August 5, 2009 at 8:43 AM

A state visit every 10-12 years to keep Kim stable-ish and out of our hair seems like a bargain as a way to buy time until the regime eventually implodes.

There are many times that politics requires you to play nice with some really nasty characters.

Sort of like when the US made deals with various dictators in an effort to control the spread of communism.

The left still screams about some of those deals.

Sending BC to NK to pat lil Kim on the head from time to time, is vastly superior to the kind of mischeif lil kim could commit if he tried.

MarkTheGreat on August 5, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Impeached misogynist visits Korean madman for some campaign cash in trade for US top secrets.

Hening on August 5, 2009 at 10:57 AM

You still do not understand the legal concept of recognition.

Take the FSO exam, oral and written, pass your final interview, spend a year at the DoS FSO School in Rosslyn, get back to me afterward.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2009 at 10:39 PM

We were talking about diplomatic relations. Put the goalposts back where you found them, then get back to me. And leave the fallacy at home.

Pablo on August 5, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Having the head of the State Department jet off to Pyongyang to beg for mercy would have been humiliating.

No way was the other Clinton going after the Norks called her a “schoolgirl” or whatever it was – that would just further degrade her status with them. Hence the Billy Jeff action.

As for the Norks “kidnapping” these two idiots, get real. They tried to break into the country and got what they had destined for themselves. Morons. They also win once the book deals are signed, though.

commenter on August 5, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Pablo on August 5, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Read this…then tell me where exactly there exists “diplomatic relations” between the government of the United Statesand the government of the DPRK.

As for the fallacy you raise…as a career US government official, mostly overseas, involved in dealings with North Koreans, among others, and in the late 80′s and into the 90′s a key member of our government’s joint departmental and multi-agency North Korea program, I know whereof I speak when it comes to the Kim regime.

We do not recognize the government of North Korea, we are still in a state of war with North Kora and we do not entertain diplomatic relations with North Korea.

coldwarrior on August 5, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3