August 17, 2009 / 11:44 PM / 10 years ago

President Obama, Bill Clinton to meet on Tuesday

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada August 10, 2009. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will meet with Bill Clinton on Tuesday, the White House said, in their first meeting since Clinton’s trip to North Korea to secure the release of two American journalists.

Obama will meet with the former president during the afternoon in the White House Situation Room.

In what Washington described as a private humanitarian mission, Clinton traveled to North Korea early this month to secure the freedom of two U.S. reporters. Visiting the North’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, in Pyongyang, Clinton became the highest-level American to meet Kim in almost a decade.

The Obama administration has been trying to coax North Korea back into six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, while saying it wants to enforce U.N. resolutions to ensure the North’s weapons of mass destruction are not spread.

Pyongyang, which tested a nuclear device in May and has since launched a series of missiles, has insisted on direct talks with the United States.

North Korea’s media portrayed Clinton’s trip as proof that the nuclear test and missile launches were a stunning victory that prompted Clinton’s visit to pay tribute and negotiate.

Obama was to meet earlier on Tuesday in the Oval Office with Clinton’s wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is newly returned from an 11-day trip to Africa.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Anthony Boadle

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