Wednesday, August 19, 2009

North Korea: The Plot Thickens

Former President Bill Clinton met for 70 minutes Tuesday with President Barack Obama to brief him on Clinton's trip to North Korea earlier this month to secure the release of two jailed journalists.

Obama administration officials had earlier said they hoped the release of the journalists would give North Korea a face-saving opportunity to return to talks aimed at ending its nuclear program.

Meanwhile, two top North Korean diplomats are enroute to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to hold talks with Gov. Bill Richardson, a U.S. source with knowledge of the visit and a senior State Department official tell CNN. Kim Myong Gil and Taek Jong Ho, senior diplomats with the North Korean mission to the United Nations, are scheduled for a two-day meeting with Richardson.

Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has traveled to North Korea several times in the past, most recently in April 2007 to secure the return of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War. The U.S. source with knowledge of the visit said that the North Koreans asked Richardson for the meeting. Part of the agenda will be a discussion of renewable energy, the source said. New Mexico is a leader in the U.S. in exploring renewable energy technologies.

Richardson, the source said, would be listening to what the North Koreans had to say, but would not be doing any kind of negotiating.

No comments: