While the media hasn't paid much attention to it, one of the more important pieces of news of the past few weeks might be Bill Richardson's "unofficial" trip to North Korea. Remember the heightened tensions between the two Koreas around military exercises? Then North Korea did a sudden about face, backing down from the militaristic posturing, with Richardson's visit.
Funny, but it's the BBC reporting it, not the American media:
Bill Richardson has emphasised that his visit to North Korea - at a time of very high tension on the Korean peninsula - was in an unofficial capacity.
A former US ambassador to the United Nations, he has visited North Korea on several occasions in the past.
"My sense is the North Koreans realise that they have moved too negatively against negotiations, that they have taken some very bad steps and they wanted to move in the right direction," Mr Richardson said.
"They agreed to the proposals that I made.... Now there has to be deeds, not words."
I've always considered Bill Richardson to be a very savvy, shrewd diplomat. While it's not clear what he did (or could) offer North Korea, it is clear that they backed down from a very dangerous position. North Korea does have a long history of not negotiating in good faith, so this may end up going nowhere. But at least the tensions are being ratcheted down a bit. And that is "news".