What Bill Said To Kim Jong Il

Through the placement of a special listening device in Pyonyang, The Atlantic was able to overhear President Clinton speaking with Korean Strongman Kim Jong Il at their meeting today.

 "Hey, man, I hear you like movies. That is awesome. I am told that you are a huge fan of James Bond. I love that guy, man. Have you ever seen the In Like Flint movies with James Coburn or Austin Powers? You remind me of that Dr. Evil dude, but in a good way. That is some good stuff....Who is your favorite Bond girl? So torn between Ursula Andress and Halle Berry.

"But enough chit chat. You know I have enormous respect for the Korean people. Hot Springs and Seoul are actually sister cities. And your love of Bulgoki finds a place in the hearts of Arkansans who love barbecue. You ever see Margaret Cho? Very funny. So know, I come here out of respect and admiration.

"I know we've had some differences. Heck, you promised a whole bunch of times to stop your nuclear program. I thought we had a deal back when I was president and I know the little Bush who followed me thought he had a deal, too. But, hey, we can talk reactors and uranium and stuff later.

"I'm here to talk about the two journalists you have in captivity. First, let me say that Al Gore, for whom they work, can be a huge pain so I know where you're coming from. In 2000, I gave him the best economy the world had ever seen and he couldn't bring himself to mention it or me or all the great things we'd done together. He didn't even want to talk about the environment and now everyone is green. So if you're chapped about his people on your territory I know where you're coming from.

"But look, these kids didn't mean you any harm and they're really sorry for crossing the border. I would take it as a huge, personal favor to me if you could commute their sentence--you don't have to say they're innocent--but just letting them out early would be great. I promise that I will put in a good word for you with the Mrs. and President Obama. He's all hopped up about you aiming missiles towards Honolulu where he says he's from.

"Now, I think if you can help me out on this, we can start to build some trust. You know, we're two young fellas who want to leave a lasting legacy. For me it's economic growth, revival of the Democratic party and good works around the world. Okay for you it's labor camps and really big military parades. That's different. But we both have pride. And we both miss our dads. I never got to know mine. You were lucky to know Kim Il Sung. I'm sorry I never got to meet him. But I tell you this, if you let those young ladies walk out of here with me tonight, you are not gonna regret it. The world will know you were strong enough and big enough to do the right thing. Plus I will make sure they don't send Biden over here to annoy you."

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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