Why haven’t we heard anything about the two US reporters, Laua Ling and Euna Lee, still being held in North Korea?
- The outside world knows little about how they are holding up — because North Korea is not saying and the United States, while trying to free them through diplomacy, has tried to impose a blanket of silence.
Apparently, the US gov’t is keeping this story quiet. But the British news The Times has recently published an article. It’s reported that the two reporters crossed from China into North Korea (not smart) even though they had been warned not to venture onto North Korean soil. It has been over a month since they were arrested.
The media in the US has not reported on this case. The US State Dept is working diplomatic channels. You could ask the question: would the media have co-operated with the gov’t silence if GWB were still President?
- Conviction for illegal entry carries up to three years in prison; the more serious crimes of espionage or “hostility toward North Korean people” are punishable by five to ten years.
The US State Department has said that it is making every diplomatic effort to free the two women and Mr Gore is said to have contacted Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, to ask for her assistance. The US has no embassy in North Korea but a representative of the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang is said to have seen the journalists at the end of last month.
Koh Yu Hwan, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, said that Pyongyang was unlikely to release the journalists soon. Having two Americans was like having a “piece of rice cake rolling in for free”, he said.
“They’re going to make maximum use of this for multiple purposes. Rather than a trial by a criminal code, it will be a political trial.”