Leave it to Slick Willy to smooth talk the batty Kim Jong Il into releasing two American jornos. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were arrested back on March 17, were released as a sign of N. Korea’s “humanitarian and peace-loving policy,” according to the Korean Central News Agency. The agency reported that Clinton apologized on behalf of the two journalists, and his visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between the two nations.
Clinton swooped in unannounced and met with the stroked-out N. Korean leader, and engaged in what they’re calling “exhaustive talks,” before the two ladies were pardoned. Clinton’s informal diplomatic mission marks the first such visit for a Western head of state. It also signals a marked difference in foreign policy from the Bush-era bomb first strategy. Of course, Sarah Palin would have loved to watch a nuclear glow wafting over N. Korea from her Alaskan front porch, doncha know.