Bill Clinton worked his magic today and convinced North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Il to agree to grant a "special pardon" for the two journalists arrested earlier this year by state police. According to the state-run KCNA news agency:
"Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it," the news agency reported. "Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view.
"The meetings had candid and in-depth discussions on the pending issues between the DPRK and the U.S. in a sincere atmosphere and reached a consensus of views on seeking a negotiated settlement of them."
This is certainly a good sign, but it's unlikely to mark a new era of cooperation between the United States and North Korea.