Coup in Korea

More

Bill Clinton North Korea.JPGIt's impossible not to feel relief and pleasure that Misses Euna Lee and Laura Ling have finally been freed by their North Korean captors. But there's been a certain misguided quality to some of the media coverage of this development attributing credit, as so much of it has, to Bill Clinton's superlative negotiating skills. This isn't meant to take anything away from the former president;  he may well possess such skills, and he certainly deserves kudos for his willingness to undertake the trip.  But is anyone so naive as to think he would have done so had the deal not been concluded prior to his setting out?  Obviously, the price demanded for the women's release--the ransom, to be blunt about it--was a visit to Pyongyang from a prestigious American public figure.  An ex-president, popular in the region, who also happens to be married to the current Secretary of State, filled the bill perfectly.  I have no idea if anything of substance passed between Clinton and Kim Jong-Il during their private meeting, but for the purposes of freeing the women, a really lifelike wax dummy would have done the trick almost as well.


(Photo Credit: http://search.creativecommons.org/)
Jump to comments
Presented by

Erik Tarloff is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In