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Best Thing Ever To Emerge from a Celebrity Trip to North Korea


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When former New Mexican Governor Bill Richardson made yet another of his many trips to North Korea, bringing with him Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, I was skeptical than anything good would come of it. North Korea has a long record of turning to its own advantage any overtures from the Free World, official or not. From former President Jimmy Carter to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, from Bush Administration envoy Chris Hill to the New York Philharmonic, from the travels of American nuclear physicist Siegfried Hecker to the more than half dozen forays by Richardson himself, these overtures to North Korea have resulted chiefly in American concessions, to which the Pyongyang totalitarian Kim-dynasty regime has replied with such stuff as ballistic missile and nuclear tests, munitions and missile traffic with Middle East trouble-makers including Iran, a refusal to render up all abducted citizens of other countries, and the continuing grotesque repression of North Korea’s own people.

About the best that can be said, and it is not a happy message, is that when Bill Clinton went to Pyongyang in 2009 — upon the insistence of the Kim regime — North Korea did allow him to bring home two American employees of Al Gore’s Current TV channel (that was before Gore sold out to Al Jazeera) who had been imprisoned and were facing horrific sentences for the blunder of trespassing from China into North Korea. Clinton’s visit, which included posing for a photo-op dignifying the late Kim Jong Il with the company of a favor-seeking former leader of the Free World, was effectively the payment of a ransom demanded by North Korea.Scissors-32x32.png

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This article provides a link to sopieinnorthkorea and is absolutely fascinating if you have any interest in North Korea. Sophie is the teenaged daughter of Eric Schmidt and was allowed to be part of the delegation. Her pictures and account of the visit is definitely worth a look.

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