Friday, June 5, 2009

Should Gore negotiate with NK for reporters?

According to AP, North Korea has said nothing about Thursday's trial of Laura Ling and Euen Lee, reporters for San Francisco's Current TV who were arrested for allegedly crossing into that communist country nearly three months ago.

Current TV was co-founded by Al Gore and speculation was swirling yesterday about whether the former vice president would try to free his two employees by negotiating with North Korea. Gore usually doesn't take questions from the media, but reporters at Thursday's daily State Department briefing in Washington asked spokesman Ian Kelly about it. Here is Agence France-Presse's account of yesterday's briefing:
    The United States might send former U.S. vice president Al Gore to Pyongyang in order to negotiate the release of two American journalists on trial in North Korea for illegal entry.

    State Department spokesman Ian Kelly did not rule out such a possibility when asked if it would make sense to send Gore, who is chairman of the California station Current TV, which employs the two journalists.

    "It's a very, very sensitive issue, I'm not going to go into it," Kelly told reporters who pressed him on the matter.

    "This is such a sensitive issue, I'm just not going to go into those kinds of discussions that we may or may not have had," he added when asked whether Gore himself had raised the matter with the State Department.

    "The bottom line is that these two young women should be released but I'm not going to go into any kind of details on what we will or won't do," Kelly said when asked again if it would help to send Gore.


Richard said...

Your headline question is one an increasing number of people are asking: e.g., given Gore's relationship to the network that sent Ling-Lee to the border, is he really someone NK would favor in this situation?

Meanwhile, though NM Governor Bill Richardson has tremendous expertise, that came a long time ago (94-96).

Debate continues.

@LiberateLaura Twitter page

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Wonder if his $100,000,000 fortune is available as negotiation bait?

Anonymous said...

Gore's probably more worried about North Korea's carbon footprint than he is his two reporters.