Bill Clinton Reaches North Korea to Negotiate Journos Release

For negotiating release of two US journalists, former US President Bill Clinton has reached North Korea, a person who was briefed on the mission said. The journalists are running rigorous imprisonment for a term of 12 years for illegally getting into North Korean territory.

According to Central TV, a North Korean station, Clinton landed in Pyongyang early Tuesday morning local time. There is no comment from White House so far.

The journalists, Laura Ling (32) and Euna Lee (36), arrested on March 17 by soldiers near the North Korean border with China, were awarded 12 years term in a North Korean prison camp for “committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry.”

On the issue of seeking their release, Obama administration have considered the matter for weeks to decide whether to send a special envoy to North Korea.

It is Clinton’s first public mission on behalf of the administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his wife, has been deeply involved in the journalist’s case.

It should be noted that imprisonment of the two journalists happened amid a period of heightened tension between North Korea and the US after latter conducted nuke tests in May and then launched a number of ballistic missiles.

Subsequently, the White House marshaled support at the United Nations for strict sanctions against the North Korean government, including a halt to all weapons sales and a crackdown on its financial ties.

But the administration has tried to keep its diplomatic campaign separate from this case, which American officials have portrayed as a humanitarian issue, appealing to North Korea to return the women to their families.

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