Richardson: The Good And Bad On N. Korea

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
There's good news and bad news to glean from North Korea, former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson says.

The bad news: Their tough talk on nuclear weapons and missile tests has been amplified to the point they are threatening a "fire shower" on South Korea should the U.S. launch any sort of attack.

The good news: That kind of rhetoric is "muted" when it comes to the fate of U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, currently held in a North Korean prison after being convicted of entering the country illegally. The absence of heated words, "gives me hope," Richardson said.

Lee and Ling spoke with their husbands this week, with Ling calling their situation "bearable."

Richardson, who is the governor of New Mexico, however, called rumors that he might be sent to North Korea to win the journalists' release "premature," saying until the communist nation expresses a willingness to talk, there can be no negotiations.

The governor has visited North Korea several times as an official envoy.

"I'm ready to help any way I can," Richardson said.