Posted - 08/05/2009 : 7:32:00 PM
| Former President Clinton gratified about release
WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton says he's "very happy" that a pair of American journalists have been freed from imprisonment in North Korea.
In a statement released from his New York office, Clinton called their plight a "long ordeal," and said he was gratified that they "are now home and reunited with their loved ones."
Clinton went to Pyongyang as a private citizen acting as an envoy for the United States to work out a deal to win the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. The statement was released as the former president appeared with the pair at a Los Angeles area airport.
The former president said that he shared "a deep sense of relief with Laura and Euna and their families that they are safely home."
The Clinton story
Analysis: Obama lets NKorea's Kim save face
By STEVEN R. HURST, AP
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration let North Korean leader Kim Jong Il save face by releasing two jailed Americans to former President Bill Clinton. The payoff — maybe not right away — is likely to be renewed dialogue with Pyongyang about its nuclear weapons program.
After meeting with Clinton, who made an unannounced visit to the North Korean capital Tuesday, Kim pardoned and freed the young journalists who allegedly crossed into the country from China earlier this year. They were serving 12-year prison sentences.
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