Posted by: Karina of the Fallen Stars | August 4, 2009

U.S. Journalists Pardoned & Freed from N. Korea – Step Foward For Democracy?

Two U.S. journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were arrested on trespassing charges and illegal activity on North Korean soil earlier in March are now officially pardoned by leader Kim Jong Il. The decision was made after former president Bill Clinton arrived to speak with Jong Il. After being warmly received, Clinton allegedly “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” and pleaded that they be pardoned and sent home.

I can’t help but think back to the propaganda video we viewed in class, which criticized the Democrats’ foreign policy of “making nice with the terrorists” by parodying Madeleine Albright’s 2000 visit to the Communist nation. Isn’t Bill Clinton essentially catering to terrorists by extending heartfelt apologies? On the flip side I believe that since lives and civil liberties are at risk, Clinton is taking the proper measures to protect the two Americans involved. Jong Il says that he is willing to improve relations between North Korea and the United States, a progressive step forward considering the nuclear climate. My feelings are still severely mixed on this issue, but a think this political move is better than none at all.

More from BBC.



  1. I think it is also interesting to see how careful the Obama administration has been to distance themselves from Clinton’s actions. It’s hard to believe that with his wife as Secretary of State there is no collaboration but that seems to be what they want us to believe. Perhaps it has something to do with wanting to avoid the image of “making nice with the terrorists.”

  2. I am still amazed that within one day of arrival in North Korea Clinton managed to accomplish this. I’m sure things took place behind the scenes prior to his trip, but still – a sudden and welcome resolution.

  3. I’m glad the journalists were released. I’m also glad we’re all a little skeptical about the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s heroic swoop into North Korea and the political implications it has for the Obama administration and the Democrats.

    When the journalists were first captured, Obama condemned N. Korea and used it as further proof we were dealing with an oppressive regime. Where is he now? Has Kim Jong Il outmaneuvered him?

  4. Famed neocon John Bolton, has chimed in on why this diplomatic success is really a fatal mistake for the United States. Maybe he’s not happy unless the US is bombing other countries:

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