Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bill Clinton Rescues Laura Ling and Euna Lee (Video)

The NY Times reports that both Clintons were heavily involved in the drama of rescuing American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

Former President Bill Clinton left North Korea on Wednesday morning after a dramatic 20-hour visit, in which he won the freedom of two American journalists, opened a diplomatic channel to North Korea’s reclusive government and dined with the North’s ailing leader, Kim Jong-il. . Mr. Clinton departed from Pyongyang, the capital, around 8:30 a.m. local time, along with the journalists, Laura Ling, 32, and Euna Lee, 36, on a private jet bound for Los Angeles. . .

Laura Ling and Euna Lee Leave N. Korea with Clinton

Mrs. Clinton was deeply involved in the case, too. She proposed sending various people to Pyongyang — including Mr. Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore — to lobby for the release of the women, before Mr. Clinton emerged as the preferred choice of the North Koreans, people briefed on the talks said.

The riveting tableau of a former president, jetting into a diplomatic crisis while his wife was embarking on a tour of Africa in her role as the nation’s chief diplomat, underscored the unique and enduring role of the Clintons, even in the Obama era.