New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said he was pleased by the rescue of 15 hostages in Colombia, but he seemed surprised that a military operation and not diplomacy led to their freedom.

"Well, I'm enormously pleased, especially for the three Americans," said Richardson, a former ambassador to the United Nations, when asked for his reaction to the rescue on CNN Thursday. "You know, I spoke to those families. They asked me to go try to help. And it must be pure moments of joy."

He continued: "But, you know, what is ironic is in the last five or six years, all kinds of negotiations, mediations have moved forward -- the Catholic Church, several countries, mediators like myself. And it's ironic that a successful military operation has secured the hostages."

Asked why he thought the rescue of hostages from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was 'ironic,' Richardson said: "Well, it's ironic because it shows that the FARC was probably not interested in serious negotiations. And the military operation that took place worked. Usually these situations are resolved through third parties, through mediation. The fact that it was a military hostage rescue is very welcome news. And I think a lot of credit needs to go to the Colombian military, to President [Alvaro] Uribe."

Richardson, who touted his diplomatic meetings with Saddam Hussein and North Korean leaders during his presidential bid, has been mentioned as a possible running mate or cabinet member for Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMichelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez exchange Ginsburg memories Pence defends Trump's 'obligation' to nominate new Supreme Court justice The militia menace MORE.

Richardson added that the rescue, in which undercover Colombia spies tricked FARC into handing over the hostages, and the recent deaths of FARC leaders suggest that the rebel group may be decimated. That could open the door to more Colombian military operations or negotiations to get FARC members to re-enter society.

Eliminating threats from FARC, Richardson said, could lead to reduced tensions between Colombia, a U.S. ally, and other countries in the region, including Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, has been a vocal opponent of the Bush administration.

"They've all been fighting over the FARC, over moving into each other's territory to go after the FARC," Richardson said. "And so, maybe, hopefully, some very good diplomacy will take place after this."

Watch Richardson's interview below: