North Korea pardons US reporters North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has issued a special pardon to two detained US journalists, the country's state news agency reports. Laura Ling and Euna Lee had been found guilty of entering illegally in March. The news comes on the day that former US President Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to Pyongyang on what was described as a private mission. Mr Clinton is the highest-profile American to visit since ex-secretary of state Madeleine Albright in 2000. "Kim Jong-il issued an order... granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labour," the official North Korean News Agency (KCNA) said in a statement.