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Kim Jong Il Frees U.S. Journalists

Kim Jong-ll has issued a "special pardon" for the release of the two detained journalists in North Korea, Laura Ling and Euna Lee. The announcement came after former President Bill Clinton had a "very emotional" meeting with the reporters, according to a government source. Clinton met earlier with Kim Jong-ll to negotiate the journalists' release from their sentence of 12 years hard labor after they strayed over the China-North Korea border. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denied the report that Clinton carried a message to Kim from Obama. Gibbs said the administration will not comment on Clinton's "private mission" while the former president is in Pyongyang because "we do not want to jeopardize [its] success." Clinton's surprise visit to North Korea Tuesday is the first presidential-level visit between the two countries since 1994, when Jimmy Carter met with then-President Kim Il Sung on behalf of Clinton.