BC Goes to 平壌


MARK LANDLER and PETER BAKER “Bill Clinton in North Korea to Seek Release of U.S. Reporters” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/asia/05korea.html


Former President Bill Clinton went to North Korea on Monday to negotiate the release of two American television journalists who were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegally entering North Korean territory, a person who was briefed on the mission said.

Mr. Clinton landed in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, early Tuesday morning local time, Central TV, a North Korean station, reported. The White House declined to comment.

Mr. Clinton is the first former American president to travel to North Korea since 1994, when Jimmy Carter went to Pyongyang — with Mr. Clinton’s half-hearted blessing — to try to strike a deal to suspend the North’s nuclear work in return for concessions from the United States. Ultimately that led to the 1994 nuclear accord, which froze North Korea’s production of plutonium until the deal fell apart in 2003.