Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bill Clinton In North Korea To Negotiate Release of Two American Journalists

During the 2008 Democratic primary there was a lot of discussion about the role that Bill Clinton would play if his wife became president. The response that she usually gave was that he would be a sort of global ambassador where he'd try to help restore America's relationships with other countries after the disaster that was the Bush Administration. Even though Hillary didn't when the presidency, it still looks as though Bill is playing some role in the way the US is interacting with foreign countries. According to reports, Clinton is in North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists being held there.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is on his way to North Korea to try to negotiate the release of two American journalists convicted by the communist state of "grave crimes", South Korea's Yonhap news agency said on Tuesday.

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.
I think Clinton's involvement in these discussions is a good role for him as it lends some sense of power to what he says (he is a former president, after all, and husband of the Secretary of State). At the same time, he doesn't have to get involved in some of the more day to day political decisions that have to be made regarding foreign policy. Above all else, however, I simply hope that he is successful in negotiating for the release of the journalists. Freedom of speech is some that needs to be valued all across the world and we can not allow foreign regimes to simply capture Americans for helping to promote a productive dialogue.


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