After arresting two US journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, at the border with China, North Korea has been keen to extract booty from the US for their return. It now seems it has extracted a great propaganda coup, by getting Bill Clinton to meet Kim Jong Il.
The two women were arrested amid the following claims expressed by the Korean Central News Agency, which holds a monopoly on legal reporting from within North Korea:
“The investigation proved that the intruders crossed the border and committed the crime for the purpose of making animation files to be used for an anti-DPRK smear campaign over its human rights issue.”
“At the trial the accused admitted that what they did were criminal acts committed, prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies at it” or so says the Korean Central News Agency.
The TV channel the women worked for is owned by Al Gore (it’s an internet TV channel) and Al Gore had offered to go visit, but the North Koreans refused, wanting a big hitter. So Billy has come to Pyongyang. Not the first ex. President (Jimmy Carter has been more than once), but certainly it will have a significant impact, especially now CNN is publishing images showing Clinton with Kim Jong Il.
You can already see it by the headlining of the article on the Korean Central News Agency website – which tells not of why he is visiting.
The poor women arrested and languishing in a North Korean prison of course face a grim future if not released. Their “crime” of course was to enter North Korea illegally, to report on the scandal of women trafficked to China for money.
Obviously some good will come of the visit if the women are released (without a bribe) and if anything useful can be gained from meeting Kim Jong Il (to get some sense of how well the chap is). However, Kim Jong Il will see it as more important, as Clinton is the highest profile American to visit North Korea in years.
However, one small group of sympathizers of tyranny will be upset. The Facebook group supporting the arrest of the women is here. A vile little North American retard who is either too stupid to read Orwell or too evil to embrace individual rights joins a small coterie of fools who are no better than modern day holocaust deniers.
So once Bill Clinton returns, presumably with the women he sought to recover (he can't fail, can he?) then some questions need to be asked:
1. Were the women be released at no cost to the US taxpayer? (presumably excluding the likelihood that they are already paying to fly Clinton there).
2. Did Bill Clinton ask that North Korea take major steps to reduce its oppression of its own people, in particular cease imprisoning children as political prisoners (from infants)?
3. Will the move have helped to reduce the tension on the Korean peninsula, including the risk of an aggressive war by North Korea?
4. Will Clinton's visit be likely to reinforced the current regime or help encourage liberalisation and reform?
My guess is the answers are no, no, no and reinforce the current regime.