Blitzer's dispatch: Lighter moments during tense times in North Korea
December 18th, 2010
10:08 PM ET

Blitzer's dispatch: Lighter moments during tense times in North Korea

Even in the midst of incredible tension on the Korean peninsula, there have been a few lighter moments as I continue covering New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s extraordinary visit here.

He’s trying to calm down the tensions and has been meeting with senior North Korean diplomats, generals and nuclear officials, including Kim Gye Gwan, the North Korean who invited Richardson here on this mission.

At the start of their meeting, Governor Richardson introduced me to Kim Gye Gwan, and, through a translator, Kim joked that he was very familiar with my work, and that he understood that I was “as powerful as President Obama.” I started to laugh, as did everyone else in the room. He then said, “I understand only you and Obama have your own Situation Rooms” to which all of us laughed again.

I was impressed that he was following CNN and I mentioned that I’d been watching CNN International at this hotel where we’re staying in Pyongyang. I thanked the nuclear negotiator for allowing CNN to come into Korea for Governor Richardson’s visit, and hoped they would let us come back.

This time, he responded in English, saying, “Why not?”

Despite the joking and some of the sight-seeing tours they’ve taken us on, I have to say it’s a very worrisome time in the North Korean peninsula. A lot of people here seem to be somewhat encouraged that the UN Security Council is scheduled to meet for an emergency session Sunday morning East Coast time. Maybe that will calm things down. Bill Richardson tells me that it might give North Korea and South Korea some sort of cover to ratchet down the very bellicose rhetoric.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Nattydread

    Dialogue is the Masterkey to PEACE,but when persuation fails and time for negotiation is long gone,force could be used as a medium to achieve a very important aim and objective.We still have more time for negotiation and dialogue between the two Koreas.The whole world is sick and tired of war.The World Powers must do their best to bring the two nations to the negotiating table to talk peace and not threats of war.

    December 19, 2010 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andrew

    What's a "disptach"?

    December 19, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. james

    Why is Wolf wearing that cheap Chinese made work shoe from wall mart?

    December 19, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rod

    And I thought the world is telling North Korea, the world community in general, to stop building weapons of mass destructions as they are not only not necessary, they are also waste of resources and threat to mankind? Is South Korea contributing to that goal for peace?

    December 19, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Name*JC

    Richardson for president 2012

    December 19, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. sagacious

    We don't know much about North Korean Life in real except the little we get to know from media which could be biased & propaganda but I know the following:

    Communism or no communism, happiness, peace, love & care are the real hallmarks of the development of a society & not materialistic development.

    Less development with better character, spirtuality & love in societies is far better than more development with apathy, hatred, indifference & superficiality.

    December 19, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Larry W. Walters

    Wow! You're really impressed with yourself, Wolf! Too bad you had to take the road of partisan hack. You had the potential to be a good journalist.

    December 19, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rev. Howard

    How can we be so stupid? We are being "played" and made fools of by China! North Korea is desperately dependent of China and therefore is a 'strategic chess piece' that is under the control of China. The entire matter could be over, immediately if China deemed it so! A MRDD mind wouldn't believe that these few 'entertainers' have any bearings on the historial hate and 'anti-American' convictions of North Korea and China. Who do you think make it possible for North Korea to have nucleat capability in the first place? No! Not Iran. China! I would warn all of us to 'fasten our seatbelts" because we are being taken for a r-i-d-e!

    December 19, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    @rev Howard...if China is our enemy, why do they keep extending US credit? Think about that on your way to china-mart..errr wal-mart rather.

    December 19, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      Go into ANY store and it's almost all china only! So don't just single out wally world. Merry Christmas!

      December 19, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mac in Hong Kong

    Wolf this is such self serving drivel. Best leave such behaviour to the privacy of your own home.

    December 19, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. phil

    @termlimits...wal-mart is just symbolic of this. We all know Chinese goods are available elsewhere. Thanks for pointing that out though.

    December 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Wolf is not a happy camper because CNN did give him Larry Kings job. He could have had that job if wore suspenders on the job.

      December 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. phil

    And just because his mom named hom Wolf, he feels obligated to look like a wolfman? Because he does look like one.

    December 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jack

    For those of us not fortunate enough to be invited to NK, Google Earth provides and excellent platform to get a good look at this country. NK has beautiful mountains, rolling famland and busy industrial centers. If we can all move forward sxity years to 2010 I'm sure the NK people could make many meaningful contributions to the world. The preoccupation with what occured three generations ago is causing stagnation in thinking and forward momentum. The whole Korean penninsula should be free of all tWMDs and this in itself requires a significant cooperative undertaking. An offer that might get things moving in the right direction is to offer NK use of the US chemical weapons incinerator on Johnston Island until they can build their own with outside help.

    December 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Steele

      Say, when you were looking at N. Korea on Google Earth, did you enjoy the view of the prison camps? Or, since you are such a sattelite affectionado, have you seen sattelite photos of the Korean penninsula at night? Why don't you google that? You are a naive imbecile.

      December 20, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. sssimon

    Why is a "journalist" (and that is being polite) acting like he is part of the diplomatic team rather than just reporting on the event? When is America going to learn to seperate real work and real diplomacy and real politics from celebrity worship? Ooops, I guess articles like this confirm it: never. In fact it is going to get worse.

    December 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar


    December 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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