Yet Another Reason Why John Bolton Should Shut Up

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, North Korea, Right Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

So you may have heard that former President Bill Clinton went to North Korea today to negotiate the release of two American journalists being held by the North Koreans.

Arch-conservative and former U.N. Ambassador under Bush, John Bolton, wrote this morning:

Clinton’s Unwise Trip to North Korea


The point to be made on the Clinton visit is that the knee-jerk impulse for negotiations above all inevitably brings more costs than its advocates foresee. Negotiating from a position of strength, where the benefits to American interests will exceed the costs, is one thing. Negotiating merely for the sake of it, in the face of palpable recent failures, is something else indeed.

The results, this afternoon:

N. Korea Says Two U.S. Journalists Have Been Pardoned

North Korea announced Tuesday that it had pardoned two detained American journalists, hours after former president Bill Clinton met in Pyongyang with reclusive dictator Kim Jong Il as part of an unannounced and highly unusual diplomatic mission to win their freedom.

Kim issued an order “granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labour in accordance with Article 103 of the Socialist Constitution and releasing them,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Right, John.  Wasted trip.  Bad idea.