Taking a break from his obsessive quest to pardon
a long-dead gunman, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson traveled to
North Korea last week, a trip the Washington Post officially described
as an "unofficial diplomatic foray" into the country. In a post-WikiLeaks world, that sounds rather official. It is not, says the State
Department. Richardson is merely making a "private
" to the brutal dictatorship, the kind any former U.N.
ambassador is apt to make amidst fresh upheaval on the subcontinent.
That's why Richardson brought Wolf Blitzer
and a CNN camera crew along
with him. Because the trip was private and unofficial, and Richardson
and the United States government wanted it to stay that way.
Or did they? According to ABC News
, Richardson secured a "diplomatic
breakthrough" in the region Monday, with the North Koreans agreeing to
let United Nations nuclear safety inspectors return to the country. The
agreement came just before a South Korean live-fire artillery drill on
Yeonpyong Island that had prompted threats of reprisals from the North.
Additionally, the North Koreans agreed
to sell 12,000 fuel rods used in uranium enrichment, the creation of a
hotline between both Koreas and the United States and the creation of a
Significant breakthroughs one and all. Just know: the White House wasn't involved. Gibbs has never even heard
of this Bill Richardson kid.
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
rgustini at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.