Wednesday, August 5, 2009 Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalhough it occurred overnight it had been months in the making. Former president Bill Clinton went to the Stalinist republic, North Korea, and after a whirlwind 24 hours, the months of quiet diplomacy momentarily reopened the long closed channels of communication with that most secretive regime. For years they have defied the world with nuclear tests and political bombast. The former chief executive, a man with extremely high standing in much of the world, went to and left Pyongyang on a private jet and subsequent to meeting with that dictatorship's leader, Kim Jong Il, Clinton brought home to the United States two of our citizens held prisoner; Laura Ling and Euna Lee. They were on assignment for Current TV, which is San Francisco based, when, in March, they were arrested by North Korean border guards. They were soon thereafter sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly entering North Korea.

To hear the Conservative's on talk radio bleating about the Clinton involvement and success, you'd swear that the United States is on the verge of being overrun by North Koreans prior to their bombing us back into the stone age.

The mission risked the domestic criticism that, possibly, was rewarding one of the world's worst weapons proliferators. Theirs is a country that has repeatedly broken promises to us and our allies. They lie.

I join California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, who applauded North Korea's gesture and who praised the Sec of State, the President, Al Gore, and President Bill Clinton for their quiet but persistent diplomacy which made the event a reality.

Predictably, John R. Bolton, who was the United Nation's ambassador during the George W. Bush years, condemned "the significant propaganda victory for North Korea, whether or not he carried an official message from Obama".

It is an incident, an event, which has been successfully resolved and what impact it will, or won't have in the future, is hard to determine. During the Clinton years there was something of a thaw in our relationship with North Korea. The former President was the perfect man for the mission. We now know that the Obama administration gave the arrangement its blessing subsequent to an explicit acknowledgement from Pyongyang that the mission was humanitarian and had nothing to do with the nuclear dispute between the two countries.

Lest we forget it was a 1994 visit to Pyongyang by former President Carter which led to a period of co-operation between the two countries. It is a little early to read more into the visit than its basic intended reason - the release of the two journalists.

The official 'photo of the leader of North Korea seated alongside our former Chief Executive did not give any hint that our man liked their man - but they got the job done.

Meanwhile the Sec. of State is hard at work in Africa. What an amazing pair of survivors.

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