Thu, Aug 06, 2009 - Page 9 News List

Clinton’s sudden trip was months in the making

By Stephen Collinson  /  AFP , WASHINGTON

US officials also briefed key US allies on the purpose of Clinton’s possible trip and discussed it with key regional players Russia and China, explaining that it was a purely personal humanitarian mission.

They made clear that Clinton’s journey was “not in any way” linked to the nuclear issue, one of the officials said, adding that the former president made no apology to the North Koreans for the conduct of the journalists.

Clinton had one final briefing with key Obama administration officials on the situation in Pyongyang and efforts to free the journalists on Saturday, at his residence in Washington, the officials said.

They also said Clinton had not spoken personally to Obama about his mission.

They also said that they had yet to get a full debriefing on Clinton’s talks with Kim, though stressed that the need to free the two reporters was the main topic of the encounter.

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