More Updates On Laura Ling and Euna Lee

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not just for you - but for me as well - here's some update on Euna Lee and Laura Ling, and at least according to the second news story - there could be a glimmer of hope.

North Korean Labor Camps 'Brutal,' but Are Jailed U.S. Journalists There?

Family members of the women say they are are being pressured to remain silent and not to conduct interviews, in order to avoid upsetting the delicate situation. Ling's father, Douglas Ling, refused to speak with about his daughter's imprisonment, but a friend of Laura's said she worried Ling and Lee's story would soon be forgotten.

"My fear is as the time goes longer with them over there ... that this is going to be pushed aside," said Takoa Stathem, who noted that it has been over a month since any word on their condition has come in from North Korea. Lee's husband, Michael Saldate, spoke at a vigil in Chicago on July 19 and said he received a message that the women were staying in a "luxury hotel," but he said that isn't the case.

"They aren't," Saldate said, according to ABC's Chicago affiliate. "They're staying in a medical detention center. They are treated fairly, but it's still not easy because they're away from their friends and their family."

State Department officials declined on Friday to respond to questions about the women's whereabouts, saying only that the last contact between Ling, 32, Lee, 36, and the Swedish ambassador in North Korea was on June 23 at an undisclosed location.
N.K., U.S. in "active consultations" on detained reporters

North Korea and the United States are in "active consultations" on how to resolve a standoff over two American journalists detained in the secretive communist nation, an informed diplomatic source here said Sunday, according to Yonhap News. The ongoing consultations through the North's diplomatic mission to the U.N., often called the "New York channel," are focused on who the U.S. government should send as a special envoy to Pyongyang to bring back the two female reporters, the source added.

"The U.S. has in principle reached a compromise with North Korea on the dispatch of a special envoy for their release," the source told Yonhap News Agency, requesting anonymity apparently due to the sensitivity of the issue. "The two sides are continuing related consultations. You may say 70-80 percent of the negotiations are done."