Norks pardon journalist after Clinton visit
North Korean President Kim Jong Il has pardoned and released two U.S. journalists, state-run news agency KCNA said Wednesday.The photo that accompanies the story shows a gloating Kim apparently happy with the groveling of two US Presidents. That appears to be the happiest I have ever seen him. Clinton's look is one of grim determination. The chances of reaching a negotiated settlement of issues between the US and North Korea still remain remote and if such settlements are agreed to, the chances that North Koreans will honor them are also remote.
The announcement came after former U.S. President Clinton met with top North Korean officials in Pyongyang to appeal for their release.
"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," the news agency reported. "Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view.
"The meetings had candid and in-depth discussions on the pending issues between the DPRK and the U.S. in a sincere atmosphere and reached a consensus of views on seeking a negotiated settlement of them."
The report said Clinton then conveyed a message from U.S. President Obama "expressing profound thanks for this and reflecting views on ways of improving the relations between the two countries."