1. Joe says

    Are they going to be billed for the costs associated with freeing them after their colossal stupid move?

  2. Mark says

    Joe, you ARE an idiot. I would also tell you to go fuck yourself, but by reading your comment I know you already have.

    Towleroad thanks for covering this story.

  3. Cj says

    This makes my week. Putting aside all the political bullshit, lighten up, and let this story wash over you.

  4. This is kinda a good thing. says

    Actually seriously, if any of govt’ money was spent on getting these people freed? they should be billed…

    Whatever in the name of journalistic ideals, it’s a dictatorship. they don’t want you there, you go there at your own personal risks. don’t waste my tax dollars on it…

    Same story with those kids going to Iran, they don’t want you there, get the heck out.

  5. David says

    Truly a great story. However, watching the video, the commentary by that rube Steve Ducey and his cohorts on the Fox and Fools was vomit inducing to say the least. At one point Ducey in yet another one of his thoughtful moments said that Obama owes Clinton for distracting the media from the healthcare debate. Honestly, if not for Fox these cretans would be working at a Kum and Go somewhere in deepest darkest fly over territory.

  6. Paul R says

    I’m glad they’re back, but it was a stupid thing to do, and the long-term implications of using Clinton to lend legitimacy to North Korea are going to be severe. This is no better than the kids in Iran or the guy swimming to Aung San Suu Kyi’s house in Burma. You don’t go playing around on the most heavily fortified military border in the world, entering a country run by a paranoid dictator.

    The North Korean government used them as pawns, and we had no choice but to play into its hands. Not good.

  7. Daniel says

    re: Paul R “it was a stupid thing to do.” Well, they were trying to report on the plight of NKorean refugees who escape to China and then are forcibly returned (contrary to UN’s refugee policy, btw). Trying to widen reportage of that problem is not stupid, IMHO.

    And if we “played into their hands” via a photo op of Dear Leader with Clinton, that’s fine with me. They were trying to meet anyway during the final days of the Clinton presidency, this simply gave them both what they wanted: face to face time, just delayed by several years. And if Clinton & Dear Leader had the chance to whisper a few secret exchanges about nuclear policy or Kim’s health, that’s a success for us. I disagree with you that it’s not good for us in the long term. I’m optimistic SOMETHING happened that could be beneficial for both nations. After Jimmy Carter came back during Clinton’s terms, things calmed down for awhile.

  8. Paul R says

    Daniel, a few points:

    1. N. Korea doesn’t give a crap about the UN. It only deals with it when it needs food from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) because it likes to starve its own people while keeping a few leaders in caviar and Courvosier. Everyone knows that N. Korea and China have agreements on immigration (meaning, China doesn’t want any more people and has no scruples when it comes to propping up governments only slightly more evil than its own). Reporting on them will change nothing because both governments don’t give a crap about human rights.

    2. This is way more than a “photo op.” It’s Bill Clinton being used for propaganda, which is the entire focus for N. Korea. Any discussions about Kim Jong Il’s health or nuclear ambitions were to the benefit of N. Korea.

    3. These women work for Al Gore’s network, and they certainly didn’t deserve 12 years of hard labor. But they are young, and one (I can’t find out about the other) does not have a degree related to journalism. She went to art school. So yeah, it was stupid, and the US probably gave concessions that we didn’t need to give, all because these two women intentionally put themselves in harm’s way.

    Clinton didn’t do this because he was dying to meet a despot. He did it because the despot chose his name from the list of people willing to meet with him. It’s BS, and simply made the despot look like he could control the US by taking our citizens prisoner. So you think this will play out well in similar situations elsewhere in the world? It’s blackmail and extortion fueled by the actions (antics) of a few self-aggrandizing individuals.