Blitzer's dispatch: Lighter moments during tense times in North Korea
December 19th, 2010
08:31 AM ET
12 years ago

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

(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.

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 (2 Responses)
  1. Ted Ward

    What exactly are the ISSUES being discussed? What are the North Koreans upset about? What could possibly be the reason they would plunge the Korean Peninsula into war? WHO are the people in the photograph shown in the article? A little plain and simple journalism would be nice folks! It is nevertheless reassuring that cooler heads are trying to prevail. Good luck!

    December 19, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. Marie MD

    blitzer sounds as boring as when he reports the news unless it's about that woman and then he gets all excited like a dumb 12 year old.

    December 19, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |