Clinton En Route to Korea (Updated)

We expect a press conference from the State Department any moment now, so you may want to tune in your radios if you are following this story.

Bill Clinton is reported to be in the air, or something close to in the air, on his way to North Korea to negotiate the release of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Moments ago it was reported that …

….Clinton had already left for the North but had not yet arrived in Pyongyang, Yonhap said in a report from Washington quoting a source familiar with the issue.

“As soon as he arrives, he will be entering negotiations with the North for the release of the female journalists,” the source was quoted as saying.

The journalists were sentenced last month to 12 years’ hard labor …

source

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0 thoughts on “Clinton En Route to Korea (Updated)

  1. Part of me wants to ask “why?”

    From what I gathered, this pair were explicitly warned not to cross the border into North Korea from where they were in China but went right ahead and did so. It wasn’t accidental or beyond their control and then they got caught and sentanced for illegal entry and espionage and used as political pawns and it is entirely their own damned fault.

    Usually I’m all in favour of governments trying to extricate their citizens from assorted messes but usually those messes aren’t entirely self inflicted.

    I can see why from a political point of view but there must be people fuming in places of power at the idiocy of it all. I’ve not been following that closely though so maybe I’ve missed something?

  2. I get the captain’s point, and it is true that these things could be prioritized. However, the real objection here is not to what has happened to these women, but to what happens to anyone in a dictatorial authoritarian society. What happened to them is the equivilant of, say, sending protesters who may have gone a little over the line during a protest at, say, a politcial convention, to prison for months or years. What kind of society would even THINK about doing that!!?!?

  3. Exactly, Greg. Besides, just because they made a mistake doesn’t mean they deserve to be imprisoned in foreign country for ever, and made to do hard labor. That’s ridiculous.

  4. “this pair were explicitly warned not to cross the border into North Korea from where they were in China but went right ahead and did so”

    I think the west is appalled because western female privilege has not been respected. Especially when women are “made to do hard labor”. The west–and the theoretical egalitarian liberalism that guides it–is always appalled when women are treated the same way that men are.

    “they made a mistake”? I’m not so sure about that–lets not forget that the CIA trained Gloria Steinem et al, fully realizing that womens privilege could open doors that are otherwise closed to our spies…

  5. “I think the west is appalled because western female privilege has not been respected.”

    Oh, stuff it. I would have responded the same if they were men.

    “Can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

    Really? This is illogical. First of all, “the time” is ridiculous. These are our citizens. They didn’t kill anyone. All they did was step onto the wrong soil. And you think they deserve to be sent away to a hard labor camp for 10+ years in a foreign country?

    That shit is skewed.

  6. This whole situation is screwed up. I hope some day, North Korea implodes on itself like the way the Soviet Union did when it dissolved.

  7. @”Oh, stuff it. I would have responded the same if they were men”
    marilove, don’t take it personally–it’s just my observation about western models of egalitarianism in general, not just your comment. From what you say, it is likely you would be incensed if it were men–but would you have been so quick to comment about it, or would you possibly have some reservations? Men get a raw deal on these things, but just wag a good looking woman, or a woman in general, and the blogs light up.

  8. Everybody got what they wanted.

    1. The women had an adventure.

    2. Bill got on TV.

    3. Kim got Bill to kiss his feet on western TV. The Koreans made an example of them: nobody else contemplating crossing the border will expect Bill to come get them out too. The Koreans have disposed of a thorn in their side.

    Kim came out way ahead, a gift from those two women and Bill.

  9. My favorite bit is the photograph in which Kim looks a lot like a happy American politician on the campaign trail and Clinton looks like a behind-the-iron-curtain dictatorship kinda party official or something.

  10. I am SOOOO relieved! The very idea of women from America doing hard labor! Oh, what a sad day that would be–reversing 100+ years of re-instated Victorian era female privilege and entitlement!

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