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August 4, 2009
North Korea pardons two American journalists

Two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, have been pardoned by North Korea. They were arrested in March while reporting along the border of China and North Korea.

That announcement came late Tuesday afternoon after former President Bill Clinton made an unannounced visit to North Korea and then held a series of high-level talks, including a rare chat with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

This is not the first time a former American president has gone to North Korea to negotiate. In fact, 15 years ago, during Bill Clinton’s first term, former President Jimmy Carter went to North Korea to negotiate on an earlier standoff on nuclear weapons.

Thomas Whalen, an associate professor of social science at Boston University, joins Martin Savidge to discuss Clinton’s mission and other ex-presidents who have been sent on diplomatic missions.

Read more from Worldfocus blogger Nina Hachigian: Mr. Clinton goes to Pyongyang

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Follow up to my previous comment-

Sometimes a reporters job is to put him/herself into dangerous situations to get us the news we so dearly love watching on CNN/Fox/MSN. While they did violate trespassing laws, their situation hardly warranted a 12-14 years of hard labor sentence. And since most people involved in their rescue volunteered their time (Mr. Former President) and property (Mr. Bing’s personal plane) the costs appear to be minimal which make me wonder why your comment was entirely focused on $$$. How about a big thank you to Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bing, Mr. Gore, ETC. for their successful efforts instead?


TO-Dave Negrette

What are the costs exactly, Dave? Didn’t Steve Bing, multimillionaire Film Producer provide the plane for the trip? Did Mr. Former President get paid to go on this mission? NO! Maybe you can throw in the salaries of our elected Government officials who spent their “tax payers paid salaries” time on this can come into question. If you agree with that then on that same rational maybe we should make every victim in the United States pay for our elected officials salaries anytime our elected officials spent any of their time on their situation. So please, get the numbers before you start doing the math.


What happen to the American mens’ fantasies. Rescuing damsels in distress and being welcome as heroes by girls offering flowers. I know they still enjoy being Rambo and kicking asses.




While the rescue of two Americans from a communist state is commendable, one question comes to mind. Who is going to pay for the cost of the rescue. Two people knowingly went to a off limits zone in the world and got caught. These days if a skier or hiker goes to a restricted area and gets stranded they may have to pay for the rescue. For me, the two journalists who took a risk and lost should pay the bill. We as the tax payers should not have to foot the bill.

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