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Thread: Laura Ling and Euna Lee to be released by N. Korea

  1. #1
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Default Laura Ling and Euna Lee to be released by N. Korea

    MSNBC.com


    N. Korea to free 2 U.S. journalists
    Announcement of pardon comes after Bill Clinton meets with Kim Jong Il
    msnbc.com news services


    North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, speaks with former President Bill Clinton in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
    updated 2:22 p.m. PT, Tues., Aug 4, 2009

    SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has pardoned two jailed American journalists and ordered their release following an unannounced meeting with former President Bill Clinton, the North's state media said Wednesday.

    The release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee was a sign of North Korea's "humanitarian and peace-loving policy," the Korean Central News Agency reported.

    Clinton met with the reclusive and ailing Kim on Tuesday, shortly after landing in the capital Pyongyang. It was Kim's first meeting with a prominent Western figure since his reported stroke nearly a year ago.

    Washington had pushed for their release, with Clinton's wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, requesting they be granted amnesty.

    State media said Bill Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama's gratitude. The report said the visit would "contribute to deepening the understanding" between North Korea and the U.S.

    Earlier, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs denied Clinton was delivering a message from Obama.

    The official Korean Central News Agency said that Clinton and others left early Wednesday by plane. It didn't specify whether the journalists were among those who departed Pyongyang.

    Joy in California
    In the U.S., the families of Ling and Lee said they are "overjoyed" by the news of the pardon.

    "We must also thank all the people who have supported our families through this ordeal, it has meant the world to us," the families said in a joint statement. "We are counting the seconds to hold Laura and Euna in our arms."

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he joined all Californians in celebrating the good news. "Both women risked their lives to search for truth in an area of the world where the press is often censored, and I applaud those who worked to negotiate their pardon. Our heartfelt thoughts are with the families of Euna and Laura, and we wish them both a safe return to California," the governor said in a statement.

    Pyongyang accused Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV media venture, of sneaking into the country illegally in March and engaging in "hostile acts." The nation's top court sentenced them in June to 12 years of hard labor after their conviction.

    Clinton's landmark visit, which was not announced in advance by North Korea or the U.S., comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, foes during the Korean War of the 1950s, over the regime's nuclear program.

    North Korea in recent months has conducted a nuclear test and test-fired an array of ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with Washington leading the push to punish Pyongyang for its defiance.

    It's only the second visit to Pyongyang by a former U.S. leader. Jimmy Carter traveled to North Korea for talks with Kim's father, Kim Il Sung, in 1994 in a groundbreaking meeting during a time of similar tensions.

    Though Clinton was in North Korea on a private basis, his visit was treated by North Korea as a high-profile visit, with senior officials including Kim Kye Gwan, the vice foreign minister who serves as the country's chief nuclear negotiator meeting him on the tarmac.

    Handshakes and flowers
    Footage from the APTN television news agency showed the arriving Clinton exchanging warm handshakes with the officials and accepting a bouquet of flowers from a schoolgirl.

    Kim later hosted a banquet for Clinton at the state guesthouse, Radio Pyongyang and the Korean Central Broadcasting Station reported.

    "This is a very potentially rewarding trip. Not only is it likely to resolve the case of the two American journalists detained in North Korea for many months, but it could be a very significant opening and breaking this downward cycle of tension and recrimination between the U.S. and North Korea," Mike Chinoy, author of "Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis," said in Beijing.


    Lee, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, is married and has a 4-year-old daughter in Los Angeles; a native Californian, Ling is the married younger sister of TV journalist Lisa Ling.

    The decision to send the former president was kept quiet. The White House said it would not comment on the trip until the mission was complete.

    In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists said it was encouraged by reports about Clinton's trip.

    "This is welcome news and we are pleased to see movement in this case," said Bob Dietz, the group's Asia program coordinator. "The fate of these two women should not be linked to broader issues on the Korean peninsula, and to see both sides make a move toward the release of these reporters will bring some relief to them, their families and friends."

    More on: North Korea



    The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
    URL: N. Korea to free 2 U.S. journalists - North Korea- msnbc.com



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  2. #2
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    it must suck for John Bolton to keep getting suckered by that varmint Bugs Bunny

    Bolton, Clinton, North Korea: One of Those Good Problems

    By: Spencer Ackerman Tuesday August 4, 2009 6:02 pm

    Re-reading John Bolton's op-ed on the Washington Post 's website -- the one that called Clinton's diplomacy with North Korea foolish about two hours before it, like, worked -- I got stuck on this graf:
    While the United States is properly concerned whenever its citizens are abused or held hostage, efforts to protect them should not create potentially greater risks for other Americans in the future. Yet that is exactly the consequence of visits by former presidents or other dignitaries as a form of political ransom to obtain their release. Iran and other autocracies are presumably closely watching the scenario in North Korea. With three American hikers freshly in Tehran's captivity, will Clinton be packing his bags again for another act of obeisance? And, looking ahead, what American hostages will not be sufficiently important to merit the presidential treatment? What about Roxana Saberi and other Americans previously held in Tehran? What was it about them that made them unworthy of a presidential visit? These are the consequences of poorly thought-out gesture politics, however well-intentioned or compassionately motivated.
    It's not as if the North Koreans are kidnapping Americans left and right. But if all it costs the U.S. in the future to secure hostage releases is for Bill Clinton to show up in various hellholes, that's a pretty good use of an ex-presidency. I'm searching for an actual harm to U.S. interests here and I just can't find it. What I can find is two freed Americans.

    It must suck to keep being outwitted by that varmint...
    [youtube]rNFsnZdn1Ho[/youtube]
    ATTACKERMAN Bolton, Clinton, North Korea: One of Those Good Problems

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    I bet the war mongers are a-fuming over how we "wussed out" over Bill apologizing for the women and ensuring their release.

    Why, they probably think we should have held out and threatened to nuke them to kingdom come. Or something.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    oh cry me a bunch of crocodile tears. next time don't go anywhere near that fucked up country ladies!!! WTF did you expect?!

    and and Bill Clinton (the first black president) taking all the good press from Obama

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Just read that Clinton took Stephen Bing's (the dude that impregnanted half of Hollywood) private jet over----so as to not cost the tax payers any $$$......

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    This is ridiculous, America has a lot more pressing situations to send Slick Willy out on, instead of rescuing some dumb bitches who broke the law trying to prove they bad.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Joan Rivers 'tweeted' some funny shit---she said stuff like 'Bill wouldn't have gone over there if the chicks were ugly' and how they were so appreciative that they spent the entire flight home 'on their knees' and that Clinton's shoes were on the wrong feet when he got off...funny stuff.

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    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    Bill Clinton sex jokes are really dated now...I just don't find them funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by celeb_2006 View Post
    I bet the war mongers are a-fuming over how we "wussed out" over Bill apologizing for the women and ensuring their release.

    Why, they probably think we should have held out and threatened to nuke them to kingdom come. Or something.
    The dems are hippie pussies remember. They hate war! What's wrong with them?
    Last edited by bychance; August 10th, 2009 at 01:51 PM.

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