Applying Negotiation Skills to Bill Thesis

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[. . .] Conclusions

Both the parties got the best result as far as getting national interest related conditions were concerned. While Egypt got the Sinai Desert back, it didn't make any progress on the Palestinian Issue, while the Israeli were able to get a peace treaty with the Egyptians without even touching the issue of Palestine much. The resultant of the negotiations were aimed at even normalizing the situation between the two countries, and heeded the way of the Peace Process in the Middle East.

Bill Clinton and the Negotiations with North Korea

As the 42nd President of the United States of America, there can be little doubt regarding the contributions of this Democrat. On an international level, the 1993 Peace Agreement between Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, were hailed as an extraordinary achievement of the President (Profile: Bill Clinton, 2010).

He is a man who has been reputed to bring his opponents to table and get them to negotiate a peace deal, like in the case of Ireland. His negotiation skills have been renowned in this regard, and it is because of these skills and other achievements similar to this which played a role in remaking the image of the ex-President as a peacemaker; this also greatly explains why he was chosen as the "broker" for the release of the two Journalists.

The Humanitarian Mission to North Korea

All of these lessons about negotiating were much apparent in the "humanitarian mission" that was carried out by Former President of the United Nations, Bill Clinton, when he visited South Korea on 4-5 August 2009. The humanitarian mission was carried out by the President to secure the release of two American Journalists who were arrested on the 17th of March 2009 by the North Korean Authorities and were charged with committing "hostile acts" and trying to enter the country illegally (McCurry, 2009). Both of the Journalists were working for Current TV, a California based online media outlet, being run by the former Presidency Candidate, Al Gore and at the time of their arrest were working on a story covering prostitution and illegal trafficking between China and North Korea.

Whereas the North Korean stance has been that the two Journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, were arrested from near the Tumen River, which runs along the country's eastern border with China, the South Korean claim has been that this is in a fact false, as the North Korean guards crossed over to the Chinese side just to make the arrest (McCurry, 2009).

In June 2009, the two journalists were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor by the court for the "grave crimes" that they had committed against the state of North Korea (John M. Glionna, 2009). This was seen as a further point of confrontation by the United States, which had already made many appeals to the Government of North Korea for the release of the two Journalists.

Background: The U.S.A. / North Korea Relationships

The relationship between North Korea and the United States of America has no doubt been very complex, and which reached new heights of hostilities after the stepping down of President Clinton and the succession of President Bush. The Nuclear tests has been a trump card for the North Koreans who have used it on an off to get their way with the U.S.A., and when the hostilities increased, the card resurfaced once again.

The situation further aggravated as the North Koreans continued the expansion and development of their nuclear program (Przystup, 2009). But other issues, like the pending transfer of power have also been a very sensitive issue between the two nations. There has been little doubt that the main concern of the United States has been regarding the loss of control of the nuclear weapons, which can result in a nuclear nightmare in the region. It was based on these fears that a Six-Party Talks were to be initiated between the two countries; however the confrontation on the diplomatic ground had reached an extent where Pyongyang had even refused to participate in the "Six-Party Talks aimed at the denuclearization of North Korea" in April 2009.

The hostilities between the two countries now played out very publicly, and became more apparent when "Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defined North Korea's proliferation of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) as the great threat posed by Pyongyang to U.S. Interests," whereas President Bush even included it in his "Axis of Evil" theory, while Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State went on to call the nuclear program as the "most acute challenge to stability in Northeast Asia" (Przystup, 2009); whereas on the other side, North Korea too, has made it clear enough that the end of the nuclear program as well as any normalization of relations can only take place when the U.S. has moved away from its hostile policy attitude.

However, it could not be denied that the timing of the arrest could not have been more perfect; the arrest took place at a time when there was an immense criticism taking place regarding the testing of North Korea's new rocket launch. There had been much pressure on North Korea, both from Japan and USA, to call this test off which were scheduled to take place in April 2009 (McCurry, 2009). So much so that threats had been given to North Korea, in which the possible shooting down of the missiles as well as imposing of sanctions by the UN were all named as possibilities. However, the arrest meant that the response from Washington lacked the roar that would have taken place if the situation was different. Shooting at this stage as an option was completely out of question, since this would have resulted in consequences to the captive Americans.

There has been little, if any, doubt that the main reason why North Korea has insisted on continuing with its nuclear program, despite agreeing to talks several times, has been the harsh diplomatic stance that USA has maintained against it.

Therefore it is not surprising that under such a political background the success of Bill Clinton, the former President of America, in getting the release of the two Journalists was truly a remarkable achievement. The move and the consequent result of such a move were hailed the world over as a diplomatic front success, where an ex-president, through diplomatic efforts, was not only able to reduce the sentence of the two journalists, but was even successful in getting them an apology from the North Koreans.

Strategies of Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton has always acted wisely and patiently in the case of North Korea, as is much evident from his tenure in the Oval Office; these steps included the Agreed Framework in 1994. The plan was basically that North Korea would gladly call off its nuclear program, in exchange for economic aid and normalization of relationships between the two countries (Collin, 2009).

Not only this, but the cultural understanding which the President employed during his years in the office was also instrumental in getting President Clinton the much needed respect -- especially in this case -- and preference in the political elites of North Korea. This Cultural Understanding was made apparent when as a President Bill Clinton, who must surely have touched the heart of the Kim family through the gesture, sent a condolence letter to his Korean counterpart on the demise of his father, Kim Il-sung.

It is therefore not surprising that he was selected as the face for this "Humanitarian Peace Mission" -- despite a number of possible other faces that were being deliberated on -- including Al Gore and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico (Mark Landler, 2009).

The Negotiations and the Problems

While there are not many details available about the negotiation between the two leaders, Bill Clinton and Kim Jong-il, the few that are found mention that a deal had already been worked out between the Obama Administration and the North Korean Administration. The deal was made possible between the two nations through various state department contacts and United Nation intermediaries (Niksch, 2010). This was a much needed and difficult step, since the U.S. has no diplomatic staff of its own inside North Korea since the 1950's when it sided with South Korea in the Korean War in 1950-53 (Associated Press, 2011). This most probably would have been another reason for such a high-profile visit to become so essential in the absence of no direct USA Diplomats in the state of North Korea to intervene.

Upon his arrival in the North Korean Capital, President Clinton was received with extreme respect and much official protocol at Pyongyang. But most importantly and the real true indicator of what was at… [END OF PREVIEW]

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