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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

White House Denies Clinton Being Obama's Messenger to Kim Jong Il

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - N Korea releases US journalists
North Korea has released two American journalists held for illegally entering the country on a reporting tour, state media has said.

The release on Tuesday occurred after leader Kim Jong-il granted a special pardon to Euna Lee and Laura Ling, following a request from Bill Clinton, the former US president, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Clinton is on a current visit to Pyongyang in the highest-level US contact with North Korea since he was president nearly a decade ago when his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, went there in 2000.

He was greeted warmly on his arrival and had what KCNA described as an "exhaustive conversation" over dinner with Kim Jong-il and his senior aides.

KCNA also said that Clinton "courteously" conveyed a verbal message from Barack Obama, the US president.

The White House denied the report.

"That's not true," Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, told reporters in Washington.

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