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August 9th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

A New Opening in U.S.-North Korea Relations?

American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for entering North Korea illegally. An expert on North Korea says if they had been sent to a labor camp, they probably would never have been heard from again. So why were the women not sent to the labor camp? The reason may foretell a possible opening for U.S. diplomacy when dealing with North Korea.


Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Scott Stodden

    I first of all want to say how much more I respect former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton than what I used to. I have always been a supporter of Clinton's all through the 90's but I have more respect for the work they did to bring these women home. They probably were not sent to a labor camp because the Koreans love and crave attention and this hostage situation was the best way to get attention from the United States. Im so honored and proud of the work Bill Clinton did to bring these ladies home, does it tell you anything my American friends? Maybe that the Clinton's know how to lead the country, and Hillary make sure you run as an independent in 2012 for president because with President Obama we're heading to a whole world of trouble. Things may be lookin up right now for America but the future ramifications for the country are disastrous.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  2. Richard

    Don, I want to point out the obvious! The American Government has sent thousands of troops across the ocean in the name of national security. Spending billions of dollars and costing lives. BUT, The president will not secure our border with Mexico??? We could establish a base along the border an keep troops there to patrol the border. That would ensure national security !? Correct?
    There is some reason why our government will not do this. I would like to know why this is?
    Thanks, Rich

    August 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  3. michael armstrong sr.

    Every time we negotiate a deal with North Korea they break the treaty and continue there deeds behind our backs they have more then prooved that there words are lies and the only reason they did not send those two girls to the prison camp is because they were holding them for black mail and didnt want to take a chance on them getting hurt or killed.

    August 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  4. Mike

    I highly doubt anything will change in our relationship with North Korea. They don't like us, and we don't like them. Our governments are just too different for us to truly get along. However, i support former president Bill Clinton's tripto the country. The important thing is that the journalists are back home.

    August 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  5. Michael Stonebroke

    My belief in all due respect is that ex president Bill Clinton should not be involved in any US government activity present or future. Also my opinion is Hillary Clinton is not passing the muster as a secretary of state. I and so many US citizens are very distressed in seeing Bill Clinton involved in any government activity. Also the past president Jimmy Carter should not interfere with relations to any other country regarding the US government's activities to bring about peace to any foreign country abroad. I as a US citizen pray and hope our US government can again be stronger in our military defense. Bill Clinton stripped our military closing to many US bases. North Korea is a nation we have to show power and not back down. But to find a peaceful resolution and make then stick to it. Or we are left no choice but military action in response.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  6. david

    CNN I question how you can sometimes justify always adding the right wing side to every issue. I know you may be trying to be fair to both sides but sometimes it's just giving nuts a national platform. The Birthers were bad enough but to turn a humanitarian mission to get people back to America into some sort of secret plot by Obama to negotiate with N. Korea, is pretty rediculous. Remember when the party making the acusation sold stinger missles to Iranian terrorist to get our hostages back, whch made americans a comodity for years? Remeber Carter got them back with his negotitions, Regan took the credit, and they took more hostages and Regan gave them missles?

    How will everyone at CNN feel if by not being good reporters and reporting the facts and the lies, they are a part of the machine that kills health care reform again? Do the big money boys control all of you? Where are the real reporters on health care? How about a special to discuss all the health care systems of the world compared to ours with facts and interviews of top officials and laymen?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  7. j

    North Korea has detonated two underground nuclear bombs from 2008-2009. Has anyone researched the theory that North Korea could have contributed to the massive earthquakes in China, which led to so much loss of life and structural damage last year. If this case is proven to be true and this is brought before China, it might change the way China deals with North Korea's irresponsible behavior.

    Iran also does underground testing. Could they have contributed to the last major earthquake which led to 40,000+ deaths in Iran just a few years ago? Could someone look into these possibilities. Would this change the way the world deals with these countries if this turns out to be credible?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  8. Renzie Wilson

    Thank you Mr. President for getting the two reporters released from North Korea.
    Can you come to Alabama and investigate the Twenty-third Judicial Circuit???
    I am a 44-year old African /American male. This is a very true story. 18 years ago I was charged with a murder because I had cut a guy who had robbed me. He also had a knife. Anyway, he dies 30 days later BUT the death certificate stated the cause as cirrohsis of the liver. The DA let 12 white men find me guilty in a 2-day trial. They came back with a verict of "guilty of Assault-1st Degree." Actually, hospital records revealed that the young man was given too many different drugs, mainly antiobiotics while recovering from the wounds. The Huntsville Hospital had poisoned his system but the guy who was a candidate for Madison County District Attorney, Tim Morgan, maliciously, tried me for murder by an all white male jury and did not allow me to have any witnesses for me to hide the facts and cover up the hospital's wrongful death.
    The hospital administered the wrong drugs which made the guy's kidneys fail and he died.
    In that 18-year time frame, I have not got in to any felony trouble but now they are back up to their same old, nasty tricks again...they are trying to get me to plead guilty to a felony possession of cocaine charge when I never saw any drugs in my truck.
    My court-appointed attorney told me yeaterday, August 10, 2009, that another white male jury might find me guilty and the judge would give me 20 years. Also, he told me that he was not getting my witness here to testify at my trial. That happened to me 18 years ago and it was not fair and it was illegal under the US Constition Fifth Amendment.
    Supposedly, the police found a very small crack rock in my truck but the other guy in my truck has been found guilty of possession and is now in prison. They are saying he had over 30 rocks in his pocket. I don't know about that. Also, the arresting officer who stole my antique sword out of my truck and told me not to mention it when I get released had LOST the evidence that he found in my truck. I am striking a jury today and I do not want to get railroaded again by this county.
    What shall I, along with many other African/American men in Alabama, do about this type of thing??? 80 percent of the prisons in Alabama are African/American men when the state percentile of blacks is 30%. These men are in prison because the courts frightened them with excessive time to make them waiver their rights by plea bargaining. Something is wrong with this picture. Will you check this out for me?

    Renzie Wilson in Huntsville, Alabama

    August 11, 2009 at 7:03 am |
  9. Sandra Eastment

    From Canada:
    We have experienced the very best health care in the world for a good many years now. Everything was free.
    Then Insurance co's came in and people that have good jobs had expensive health care coverages. The prices of health care sky rocketed after that.
    Some of doctors got greedy and left Canada to the USA and cashed in on your expensive health care.
    Now we have long hours of waiting in hospitals and one doctor on call. Then, they started paying fees to a CEO that is more than your President woul ever dream of making. Then they let the workers that kept the hospitals clean go, and now there are bad viruses etc. in our hospitals. They also felt they didn't need our nurses and there big salaries go. This is what happened to our wonderful system we had. All because of greedy people and Insurance Co's.
    From what I saw at those town meetings is that the people are not properly informed and that the lady doctor you interviewed today knew exactly what she was talking about.
    Reform for everyone, not just the people that can afford your insurances.
    They are also upset as we are that after letting millions of immigrants came into our countries because we are a humane people, the governments have found now that the burden of so many people cannot be met by them. This is very sad for the American and Canadian people that have experienced such a healthy economy and money to look after ourselves, which they are finding is not happening. This is all part and parcel to the whole problem of health care and all the other problems our countries are having.
    Both of our countries are a very humane people and we want what is best for ouselves and our families.
    Good health care can work for everyone as long as you keep out the greedy insurance companies and greedy CEO's. They make other people greedy to.
    Thanks Sandra

    August 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |