Two innocent Americans were freed, and so far as I can tell, there was no quid pro quo. And here you have John Bolton, yearning for the first Bush term (when we made so much progress with NoKo):
But I worry that the outcome is a lot better for North Korea than for the United States. I mean this is a classic case of rewarding bad behavior, the seizure of these two basically innocent Americans. Obviously all of us want to get them out but we want it done in a way that doesn’t increase the risks in the future for other Americans seized by North Korea, seized by Iran, seized by other despotic regimes and then turned into pawns to get senior officials like former presidents to come and legitimize the regime in order to get them out.
The NoKo regime says Clinton apologized for the behavior of the journalists, but we have no confirmation of that from the US. But I loved this detail from the Lede:
The video of Mr. Clinton’s arrival in Pyongyang was featured in a news bulletin on North Korean state television on Tuesday evening, just after a report on the improving quality of biscuits at a local factory.