NORTH KOREA: Bill Clinton visiting Pyongyang
Korean Central News Agency, Radio Pyongyang and other state media report the former U.S. president's visit to negotiate the release of two U.S. journalists
The Korea Herald
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
North Korean state media said Tuesday former U.S. President Bill Clinton has arrived in Pyongyang, a visit believed to be aimed at securing the release of two detained American journalists, according to Yonhap News.
"Bill Clinton, former president of the United States, and his party arrived here Tuesday by air," the official Korean Central News Agency said in an unusually prompt report.
The report said Clinton was greeted by Yang Hyong-sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and Kim Kye-gwan, the North's vice foreign minister and chief nuclear envoy, at the airport.
"A little girl presented a bouquet to Bill Clinton," the report, also broadcast by Radio Pyongyang and other state media, said.
The report did not state the purpose or length of Clinton's visit.
Clinton, who served as U.S. president from 1993 to 2001, was to negotiate the release of the two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee of the San Francisco-based media group Current TV, sources said.
The two were arrested in mid-March on the China-North Korea border while reporting on refugees fleeing the impoverished North.
They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor by the North on charges of illegal entry and "hostile acts."
Date Posted: 8/4/2009