(CNN)–Most Americans say that North Korea does not pose an immediate threat to the United States, but a new national survey indicates that more than half say that the U.S. should use troops to help defend South Korea if the country is attacked by its northern neighbors.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Monday, support for using U.S. troops to defend South Korea crosses political boundaries. More than half of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents believe the U.S. should use troops in the case of an attack against South Korea. More Republicans-68 percent-support the notion than Democrats or Independents, and more men support the hypothetical action than women.
Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) – I started the day thinking our flight from Pyongyang to Beijing may not take off because of the planned South Korean military exercises and the likely North Korean military response.
I assumed that would immediately result in the closure of the Pyongyang airport. That did not happen. Indeed, the North Koreans, at least as of this writing, are showing remarkable restraint in not responding to the hour-and-a-half South Korean live-fire exercise. But my flight was still canceled because of an amazing heavy fog that descended on the North Korean capital.
Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) – I just came back from a subway ride in downtown Pyongyang. They took us really deep underground. The escalator seemed to go on forever, deeper than I've ever been - certainly much deeper than the Metro in Washington, DC - as we went from Prosperity station to Glory station.
It was clear to me the subway system doubles as an underground shelter. The people here are very conscious of the military situation in North Korea, and certainly now with the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
(CNN) - Even in the midst of incredible tension on the North 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.
Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) - It's Saturday morning in Pyongyang and we're getting ready for another intense day. The situation here is very fluid right now and a lot of nerves are being frayed because of the tensions between North and South Korea. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is getting ready for important talks in the next few hours with Kim Gye Gwan, North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, the man who invited him to Pyongyang.
Richardson is urging restraint everywhere he goes. He's really worried that this situation is, in his words, a "tinderbox" where one miscalculation could lead to all-out war. He says he's never seen the situation so tense in all his visits to North Korea over the years; he agrees it's the most serious crisis since the 1953 Armistice which ended the Korean War.
Beijing, China (CNN) - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson arrived here just a little while ago - a short layover on the way to Pyongyang, North Korea.
I am traveling with him covering his four day private visit to North Korea. I've been to China and South Korea - including the DMZ - but never to North Korea and am looking forward to seeing it.
(CNN) - Government ministers from the United States, Japan and South Korea will meet in Washington in early December to discuss North Korea, South Korea's foreign affairs ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry did not provide further details about the date of the meeting.
(CNN) - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff described the behavior of North Korea as "belligerent" on Sunday, following a report that the country is stepping up its nuclear program.
"It confirms or validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium which they've denied routinely," Adm. Mike Mullen said on CNN's "State of the Union." "All of this is consistent with belligerent behavior, the kind of instability creation in a part of the world that is very dangerous."
Washington (CNN) – Former President Jimmy Carter is traveling to North Korea to free detained American Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a senior administration official and another source familiar with the trip said Monday.
Both sources described the trip as a "private humanitarian mission" to free Gomes, a 31 year-old Boston resident who was sentenced in April to eight years at a hard labor camp for illegally crossing North Korea's border with China and for an unspecified "hostile act."
While President Carter contacted the Obama administration about the trip, no officials will be traveling with him and he "will not be carrying any message on behalf of the United States government," the senior official said.
North Korean state media KCNA reported Gomes attempted suicide because he felt the US had not done enough to free him.
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 5, 2009.
BURBANK, California (CNN) – Laura Ling expressed the shock that she and Euna Lee felt when former President Bill Clinton showed up in North Korea to secure the two journalists' release.
"We feared at any moment that we could be sent to a hard labor camp, and then suddenly we were told we were going to a meeting," a tearful and emotional Ling said Wednesday.
She spoke at a news conference just minutes after the two women were reunited with their families at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport outside Los Angeles.