President Barack Obama (l.) stands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani Herawati during a family photo before the East Asia Summit Gala dinner in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 18. At right is Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Susan Walsh/AP
President Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono talk as Balinese dancers perform on stage at the East Asia Summit dinner in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 18. Charles Dharapak/AP
President Obama stands with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as he announces that she will travel to Myanmar, on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia summit in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 18. Charles Dharapak/AP
President Obama stands with, from (l.): Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra; Vietnamese Prime Minister Truong Tan Sang; and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the US-ASEAN meeting in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 18. Charles Dharapak/AP
Members of the Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, carrying anti-Obama posters in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov. 16, protest against President Obama's visit to Bali. Supri/Reuters
President Obama speaks as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard listens during a visit to Royal Army Air Force Base in Darwin, Australia, on Nov. 17. Susan Walsh/AP
President Obama hugs a student at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Nov. 16. Charles Dharapak/AP
President Obama greets a crowd at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field in Honolulu on Nov. 15. Marco Garcia/AP
President Obama speaks at his news conference at the end of the APEC Summit in Honolulu on Nov. 13. Larry Downing/Reuters
Front row, from left: Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, President Obama, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah; New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, Mexico's Secretary of the Economy Bruno Ferrari, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and Philippines President Benigno Aquino III at the APEC Summit in Honolulu on Nov. 13. Larry Downing/Reuters
First lady Michelle Obama and other spouses of APEC leaders walk to see a performance by the Honolulu Boys Choir at the APEC Spousal Luncheon at Kualoa Ranch in Ka'a'awa, Hawaii, on Nov. 13. Susan Walsh/AP
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are welcomed by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (c.), and Rep. Mazie Hirono as they disembark Air Force One as they arrive at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu to host the APEC summit on Nov. 11. Charles Dharapak/AP
Some see the release as an indication of a charm offensive, but that goodwill does not extend toward those in North Korea's prison camps.
Donald Kirk, Correspondent /
March 3, 2014
The release on Monday of Australian missionary John Short from detention in North Korea suggests the North may be serious about what’s often described as a “charm offensive” to show the regime’s desire for reconciliation with the rest of the world, notably South Korea and the United States.