Bill Clinton's successful mission to North Korea presents a "win-win" situation for President Obama. Never mind the nay-sayers, such as the neo-conservative former ambassador John Bolton, who has accused the administration of practically consorting with terrorists by engaging with the unpredictable Kim Jong-il. Contrary to Mr Bolton, who forgot in his previous incarnations working for George Bush that actions have consequences, President Obama has demonstrated that he is a serious strategic thinker, and by dispatching the former president to Pyongyang he has his eye on the long term.
The benefits for Obama outweigh the disadvantages, not least because Clinton will come back with a first-hand appraisal of the mental and medical condition of the "Dear Leader", who seemed wizened and frail in the TV footage. That is an intelligence bonanza that money can't buy.