Photograph of the Week

Photo Credit: New York Times

I just love this picture. I don’t think it quite says ‘Diplomats and Heads of State never smile’… but it sure is fascinating. I feel like the way President Clinton and Kim Jong-il are sitting, and their expressionless faces is so indicative of the U.S. relationship with North Korea. He’s such a small man! But more so – you can definitely see the strain, the awkwardness of the picture – yet it doesn’t seem like it was a formality what so ever. Let there be no doubt – this is a photograph of historical significance – the first visit by a high-ranking U.S. politician since former Secretary of State Albright in 2000. Look at the wave in the background and tell me that, combined with the frostiness of the individuals in the photograph is not entirely symbolic of North Korea’s stormy relationship with the international community. I mean, its literally the perfect photograph – in a diplomatic/historical sense. I think its just incredible… you can see Clinton as a man who probably wished his overtures to end the Korean War and negotiate effectively with North Korea had come to fruition just before he left office. And as far as Mr. Kim goes… it looks like this is probably the ONLY U.S. politician he’d be willing to have his photograph taken with, let alone appear significantly smaller next to. It’ll be interesting how Clinton’s actions factor into U.S./North Korean relations in the coming months/years.

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