The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings


Two Clintons for the Price of One

We may be witnessing the beginning of a formidable new diplomatic equivalent of the old Hollywood film and TV hacksaw, “Good cop, bad cop.” That’s right, “Good Clinton, bad Clinton.”

Step One – Let feisty Secretary of State Hillary jump in when push comes to shove, in this case via such methods as a blunt @gma interview, a late arrival at one of the ASEAN sessions in Thailand (to North Korea’s great disgust) and so on.

Step Two – Once the opposing international player clearly understands that the U.S. means business, send in wily ex-President Bill, carrying a big stick backed softly by a world-travel whirlwind that never ended.

According to @YonhapNews, the U.S. wanted to send for the negotiation of Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s release Bill’s former VP @AlGore; but North Korea refused, presumably because the co-founder of @current is not high-level or officious enough. An ex-President has trumped an ex-Vice President, paving the way perhaps for future double CC maneuvers aimed at Iran, Venezuela and so on.

There was much concern in Obama’s camp during the 2008 campaign about the notion that some Bill Clinton baggage might come with the selection of Hillary as Secretary of State. Little did the first black President realize that the baggage of the first white-black President was a literal conceit, and that it may produce the best news out of North Korea since another Republican favorite, Jimmy Carter, visited in 1994.


Filed under: Euna Lee, Laura Ling

3 Responses

  1. Spelunker says:

    Let me begin by saying that I predicted back in mid-June that Laura and Euna would be released by August 10. (See my post at ROK Drop!)

    I admit that Bill Clinton was not on my radar as an envoy, mainly because he does not hold an official position in the current administration. I’m kind of surprised that Al Gore is not on the plane to Pyongyang with Bill. According to the Yonhap report, Bill Clinton is a compromise between Al Gore and a top level official from the current Obama administration.

    Being the Secretary of State’s spouse, and a former US president, certainly qualifies Bill though and I’m sure he’ll get Laura and Euna out with the least amount of concessions. I’m sure Bill will behave himself in North Korea and not have the KCNA describing his behaviour as being like a little schoolboy or a pensioner.

    Now that Laura and Euna are about to be liberated I guess I’ll soon be bidding this website a fond farewell. I want to thank Richard for all of the work he has done to make this the most comprehensive one stop shop for all of the latest Laura & Euna information.

    After Laura and Euna return to California I hope Richard is invited to attend one of their “welcome home” parties. Afterward I hope life returns to a happy state of normality for everybody concerned.


  2. Spelunker says:

    Oh my god! You MUST see this! South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency has published 5 photos of what looks like Bill Clinton’s trip to Pyongyang. Wait until you see the fifth one!

    It’s a big surprise; you just have to see it to believe it! I still have tears in my eyes as I’m typing this. Sooooo funny!

  3. Frank Kim says:

    I want to echo what Spelunker said. Thanks _so much_ for your blog and informing everyone about this situation. You deserve some credit for this joyous day.

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