Updates: Euna Lee And Laura Ling

Thursday, April 02, 2009

So the news just isn't getting any better out of North Korea where Euna Lee and Laura Ling are being held:

US reporters 'face up to 10 years' jail' in N. Korea

An international media freedom group urged North Korea Wednesday to drop plans to put two detained US reporters on trial, saying they face up to 10 years of forced labour if convicted. Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders) also said it was "by no means clear" that the two women were on North Korean territory when they were detained by the North's border guards on March 17.

In Washington, the State Department said Tuesday it is still working with Sweden, which represents US interests in Pyongyang, in a bid to win their release. Euna Lee, a Korean-American, and Laura Ling, a Chinese-American, were detained before dawn on March 17 along the narrow Tumen River, which marks the border with China.

The pair, who work for Current TV in California, were working on a story about refugees fleeing the hardline communist North. The North's state media announced Tuesday it would put them on trial for "hostile acts" and illegally entering the country, further straining relations with Washington ahead of a planned rocket launch by Pyongyang.
North Korea to Try U.S. Journalists

Pyongyang’s decision to put Laura Ling and Euna Lee on trial signaled that the regime has no intention of freeing them soon.

Their indictment comes amid heightening tension between Pyongyang and Washington over a North Korean plan to launch a rocket by Wednesday next week. United States officials consider a possible rocket launch a provocative test of the North’s long-range missile technology.
As much as I want to say this is going to turn out well, I'm not really that optimistic right now with everything that's going on with NK, the UN, and the missle tests, and while I think they will come back safe, the big question is simply when?