September 29, 2020

Lankov: Why N. Korea released Bae and Miller

Propaganda, connections and good will contributed to the release of U.S. detainees

Two Americans that were being held by North Korea have finally been freed. Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae were finally brought home by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. Their ordeal is over, and this is welcome news – especially for Kenneth Bae, who seems to have established a sad new record for an American detained by the North Korean government (he was in detention for two years).

What does it mean for North Korea, though? Or more precisely, for Pyongyang’s relations with Washington?