Former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to North Korea on Tuesday to try to win the release of two jailed American journalists, and met the country's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il.Yes, a "private meeting" used for propaganda purposes worldwide.
Some analysts said the visit, which U.S. officials insisted was a private one, could mark the isolated state's return to talks over nuclear weapons.
North Korea's KCNA news agency also said that Clinton, who had dinner with Kim, passed on a verbal message from U.S. President Barack Obama but gave no details. Washington said that no such message had been relayed.
"Kim Jong Il expressed thanks for this," KCNA said of the message. "He welcomed Clinton's visit to the DPRK (North Korea) and had an exhaustive conversation with him. There was a wide-ranging exchange of views on the matters of common concern."
The White House also appeared to play down speculation about a possible breakthrough in U.S.-North Korean relations by characterizing Clinton's trip as private.
"While this solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans is on the ground, we will have no comment. We do not want to jeopardize the success of former President Clinton's mission," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
Smart diplomacy in action, I guess. Rumor has it Clinton's wife is Secretary of State, but I guess the Norks have no use for her.
No doubt Kim gave Clinton thanks for helping him obtain nuclear weapons during his administration.