August 3rd, 20:30pm PST:

“NKorean media says Clinton arrives in Pyongyang” (Associated Press)

August 4th, 2009, 1:09 PM EDT:

“Clinton’s Unwise Trip to North Korea” – John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006, for the Washington Post.

August 4th, 2009, 4:07 p.m. EDT:

“North Korean media say leader Kim Jong Il has pardoned two American journalists and ordered their release during the visit of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.” (Associated Press)

* * * UPDATE

In late 1993, evidence of a North Korean clandestine nuclear weapons program came to public. Pyongyang then abruptly announced its intention to become the first nation ever to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, defying its earlier commitments to submit its nuclear activities to full international inspections, unleashing a potentially nuclear crisis. The whole story about the 1994 crisis is told in “Going Critical“, including how former President Jimmy Carter went to North Korea as a “private citizen”. In this book, Bill Clinton gave his view:

“Look, I knew I was going to take some heat for letting Carter go there,” Clinton recalled. “But I also knew I needed to give the North Koreans an escape hatch, some way to climb down without losing face. I figured if they could say to themselves that a former president had come to their country, it would allow them to do that.”