Official: Clinton's DPRK trip requested by journalists' families
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-05 13:46:24   Print

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The families of two American journalists detained in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had asked former President Bill Clinton to travel to Pyongyang to seek their release, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.

The two female American journalists just amnestied by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) go aboard a chartered plane carrying the homebound former U.S. president Bill Clinton to leave Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on Aug. 5, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Binyang)
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    Former Vice President Al Gore joined the families in making the request, the official added on condition of anonymity.

    The official made the remarks after Laura Ling, 32, and Euna Lee, 36, were granted amnesty by top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il and left Pyongyang aboard a chartered plane together with Clinton.

    Xinhua correspondents who witnessed the departure at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport Wednesday morning said the two women appeared in good condition.

    The plane made a refueling stop at a U.S. military base in northern Japan en route to Los Angeles, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

    The Obama administration approved Clinton's mission after Pyongyang had agreed in advance that the journalists would be released. The White House insisted that Clinton's visit was "purely private" and was not linked to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, said the official.

    Ling and Lee, who worked for the San Francisco-based Current TV co-founded by Gore, were captured on March 17 for allegedly crossing the DPRK border from China. They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in June.

Clinton leaves Pyongyang with released journalists

    PYONGYANG, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Two American journalists released by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) left Pyongyang Wednesday morning aboard a chartered plane carrying homebound former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

    The two women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, looked in good condition when they boarded the plane. Full story

DPRK releases two American journalists

    PYONGYANG, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The two American female journalists captured on March 17 and sentenced to 12 years of "labor reform" in June by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea(DPRK) were granted an amnesty and released during former U.S. president Bill Clinton's visit to the country, the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday.  Full story

Former U.S. president Clinton meets two American journalists detained in DPRK

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. president Bill Clinton on Tuesday met with two American woman journalists detained in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) hours after his arrival in Pyongyang, ABC News reported.

    Clinton's meeting with Laura Ling and Euna Lee, both sentenced by the DPRK's highest court in June to 12 years in a labor camp for an illegal border crossing, is "very emotional," ABC News quoted an unidentified government source as saying. Full story

Backgrounder: Detention, trial of two U.S. journalists by DPRK 

Editor: Li Shuncheng
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