11/10/2014, 00.00
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Two Americans released in Pyongyang’s latest “diplomatic trick”

Kenneth Miller and Matthew Bae returned home after a long imprisonment. A source tells AsiaNews said that the regime wants the visit of a high-ranking official - James Clapper - and got it. But above all, Kim is concerned that Obama and Xi Jinping will unite to end his dynasty.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The release of the two American citizens by the authorities in Pyongyang "is a move to open a channel of dialogue with the United States, putting South Korea in the corner and trying to put pressure on China . In practice, it is Pyongyang's latest diplomatic trick".  This is according to experts and analysts from the peninsula, who term the release of Kenneth Miller and Matthew Bae "yet another card to be exchanged in the diplomatic game".

The two Americans returned home on 8 November. Together with them, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who acted as an interlocutor for the US side. Kenneth Bae was arrested in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for "hostile acts and anti-state activities." Matthew Miller was arrested in April 2014 in unclear circumstances, according to some, he had called for "political asylum" in North Korea.

Bong Young-shik, a researcher at the Institute of Political Science Asan, said: "The international community has increased pressure on human rights violations taking place in North Korea. And the Republican Party won the mid-term elections in the US. The regime led by Kim Jong-un has probably thought that it is not the right time to continue to challenge America".

However, another source explains to AsiaNews, Pyongyang was persuaded when Washington sent  Clapper: "The regime - said the anonymous source - wanted recognition. And sending such a high level official, which would also have resulted in a personal letter from Obama to Kim, meets these expectations. Their pride is safe". The official is the government's top man on almost all national intelligence agencies and is the highest-level US official to ever go to North Korea.

It should also be considered, the source said, the APEC summit is underway in Beijing: "Today, President Obama is in the capital of China, and is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Xi Jinping - says the source - Pyongyang does not want the two to reach an agreement on how to handle the problem of North Korea. The same Xi has shown on several occasions that Beijing's with its uncomfortable ally is over. And if it aligns with Washington, it may mean the end of the dynasty".


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