Former President Bill Clinton traveled to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) this week to negotiate the release of Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had been arrested near the China/DPRK boarder. The two women were sentenced by a top court to 12 years imprisonment and hard labor for committing “hostile acts” and supposedly passing illegally into DPRK territory. According to sources, it is still unclear if they actually did cross into DPRK territory.
I can give you my own speculation.*
DPRK leader, Kim Jong-Il (or as we refer to him at home, The Jonger), after meeting with the Former President, granted a special pardon to the two women, who will now be returned to their families.
The North has a nasty habit of behaving like an old abusive boyfriend, making lots of grand promises and then not keeping them, while at the same time using insults and other emotional abuse to lash out after not owning their own mistakes, as was evident in their recent interactions with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I am relieved to know that Ling and Lee will be returning to their families soon. Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee, I wish you both the best as you are reunited with your families.
Thank you, Mr. Clinton, for doing this. It is good to see someone use their power, influence and good name to do good work.
* I think that Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee believed that they were well within the Chinese border. I think they probably even had the reassurances from the Chinese officials that they were in fact well within the Chinese border. The problem here, being that it is well known that some Asian borders in many places have long been in dispute (like with the situation over Dokdo between RoK and Japan). China shares borders with some fourteen countries, and at almost every border they are more than willing to claim land that is possibly that of the other nation. It is easy for me to imagine a situation where China reassured them they were fine and they were actually in an area that DPRK believed was their own.