Part of the “Axis of Evil”, pariah state, last bastion of unreconstructed Communism: North Korea doesn’t get the best of press and media. And the USA hasn’t been for talking with the regime in Pyongyang in recent years. But the arrest and detention of two journalists – they were given long sentences with hard labour – has set in train a series of events which may thaw relations, and benefit the entire region.
The two journalists worked for Current TV – co founded by former Veep Al Gore – and, after what must have been labyrinthine discussions, an unmarked plane, on a strictly private visit, carried former Prez Bill Clinton to North Korea on a mission to secure their release. Clinton met with the “dear leader” Kim Jong-Il, there were the mandatory photo opportunities, and the two detainees were pardoned.
And what else? In a comprehensive piece in the Guardian, nobody was prepared to say for definite, but Clinton’s visit will have had the blessing of the Obama administration. And the arrival of a former President may have flattered Kim sufficiently to move him in the direction of restarting the stalled six nation disarmament talks, and discussing the nuclear issue. The possible normalisation of relationships between North Korea and the USA could prove more beneficial than decades of sabre rattling.
Just as Winshton said.