The Puzzling Anatomy of a North Korean Hostage Release

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper details his extraordinary journey to the hermit kingdom

North Korean soldiers march on Kim Il-Sung square during a July 27, 2013 military parade marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean war armistice in Pyongyang. North Korea.

Ed Jones/AFP

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was doubtful that his secret mission to North Korea last month would result in the release of two imprisoned Americans. But, Clapper told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, the effort was worth a try—and visiting the secluded dictatorship had, he said, had "always been on my professional bucket list." 

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