I watched the CNN breaking news tonight, on the return of 2 US journalists from North Korea, with many emotions and thoughts crossing my mind.
I was happy that finally after 140 days, the 2 jailed Asian American journalists accused of spying were released.
I was very moved to see the tears, the embraces and the joy of all those who were present.
I was proud that humananity has set a good example to show that colour can be irrelevant when a sitting president secretly acted behind the scene to get a former president to visit North Korea to free 2 of its citizens, even though the colours of the 3 principals involved were as different as white grapes from blackcurrants.
I was pleased that even a regime deemed ‘evil’ by western standard has acted magnanimously to grant an amnesty to the 2 journalists that were convicted by its court for spying and sentenced to 12 years of hard labour. It shows that even ‘evil’ regime can be reasonable if approached properly and given due respect.
I was impressed by the flexibility of the US to drop its demand that its 2 citizens were not guilty and should be released immediately but instead ask for an amnesty from North Korea. This flexibility has enabled the smooth release of its 2 citizens. If US has stuck to maintaining its ‘face’ and demanding release instead of appealing for an amnesty, i do not think North Korea would have shown such a goodwill gesture. (An amnesty means that US acknowledged tacitly that these 2 were wrong and that it respects the law of NOrth Korea. )
I can’t help but envy these 2 journalists. Where else but in the West would a former president take the trouble to travel to an ‘enemy’ state to negotiate the freedom of its citizens?
I wonder if these 2 are Malaysians, especially Malaysians of Non Malay lineage, will our government take such steps to get them released? I wonder if fellow Malaysians would uniformly rally to their support without thinking of their race and colour, like what US citizens were doing?
I have no answers to these hypothetical questions. The fact that I am not sure of the answers shows that we still have a long way to go to become one nation, nevermind the rhetorics of 1this and 1that.