A U.S. politician who knows a thing or two about successfully negotiating the release of Americans detained in North Korea has voiced his support for @BarackObama’s restrained approach to the case of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Speaking @Maddow on Wednesday, May 20th, @GovRichardson said it is wise to keep separate the humanitarian side of such matters from any diplomatic efforts.
New Mexico Governor Richardson, who helped broker the release of Americans from North Korea in both 1994 and 1996, took it a step further. Suggesting that he would “get in trouble for saying this,” he argued that the North Koreans have also shown relative restraint in their criticism of Ling and Lee, avoiding for example the use of the word espionage when talking about the pair’s alleged transgressions.
Richardson has talked to the families of both Ling and Lee as well as with Current TV co-founder @AlGore, who finally broke his public silence last Friday. Noting that North Korea “obviously sees the two women as possible bargaining chips,” Richardson hinted that much will now depend on what happens at the trial scheduled for June 4th.
Perhaps most intriguing were Richardson’s descriptions of the North Korean brain trust. The Governor described Ling and Lee‘s captors as unpredictable, able to use the media very well and highly sensitive to any perceived insults.