State Dept.: No Comment on N. Korea
Before Bill Clinton secured the release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling, I made the longshot prediction that the noontime State Department press briefing would be dominated by questions about the former president’s North Korea trip. Well, just now I got the transcript, and here’s my favorite exchange between deputy spokesman Robert Wood and a reporter:
QUESTION: I just want to ask quickly on Clinton –
QUESTION: — if he’s really a free agent? In other words, how long he stays, what he brings up, what he discusses. We’ve had a lot of – Bill Richardson is a good example of sort of personal diplomacy, but he’s – you know, President Clinton. Is he on his own? Is he flying on his own? And can he be – thinks things are progressing, is it up to him to decide or does he have to report back and get a go-ahead or renewal of his presence?
MR. WOOD: Barry, I’ve known you a long time and I have a great deal of respect for you, but I just don’t have anything to add to what I’ve said.