Clinton Secures Release of Journalists; Heading Back Home

Former US president and Special Envoy to North Korea has, after securing release of two female journalists, is heading home.

After Clinton’s visit, country’s top leader Kim Jong Il granted ‘special pardon’ to the journalists who were sentenced to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment on charges of entering into North Korean territory without permission.

Matt McKenn, spokesman for Bill Clinton, said that Clinton has left the North Korean capital Pyongyang with released TV journalists.

“President Clinton has safely left North Korea with Laura Ling (32) and Euna Lee (36),” he said.

According to reports from North Korean media, Clinton had offered apologies to Kim Jong-Il for the behaviour of the two journalists and the release is on the ground of the country’s “humanitarian and peace-loving policy”.

Reports also said that Clinton’s visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between North Korea and the US.

International media, however, is speculating that the release is most likely secured as a result of some behind-the-scene-deal and may pay the way for renewing dialogue for denuclearization of the secluded state.

Soon after the release, families of the journalists who work for former vice president Al Gore’s Current TV issued a statement on their campaign website, saying: “The families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee are overjoyed by the news of their pardon.

“We especially want to thank President Bill Clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and Vice President Al Gore for his tireless efforts to bring Laura and Euna home.

“We must also thank all the people who have supported our families through this ordeal, it has meant the world to us. We are counting the seconds to hold Laura and Euna in our arms.”

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