As global powers debate how to punish North Korea for its nuclear defiance, two American journalists seized nearly three months ago faced a trial in Pyongyang on charges that landed them in one of the country’s notorious labor camps.
When I read about the fate of the two American girls sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea, my first thought was, well at least they’ll get a best-selling memoir out of it.
American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been sentenced to 12 years in labor prison by North Korea’s Central Court.
The Korean Central News Agency said on Monday the pair, who were who working for former Vice President Al Gore’s California-based Current TV, were convicted for the “grave crime they committed against the Korean nation and their illegal border crossing. [The court] sentenced each of them to 12 years of reform through labor.”
Having two journalists detained in the North leaves the U.S. very little maneuvering room since Washington now has to take the women’s safety into account,
Actually, my first thought was “holy shit.” But it was a photo finish in my mental superhighway. Now I’m thinking Jesus, those poor girls. And wow, North Korea has balls. It’s looking more and more like they want to go to war.
North Korea will certainly use the reporters as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the United States. If things in North Korea are not business as usual, the journalists could be there for a longer period of time.
I’d been following this story a little and I thought the regime would set them free. You know, get everyone worried and then at the end, show their benevolence in a goodwill gesture by letting the girls go free. Follow up the screaming and threats with a little surprise empathy. In the propaganda game, it oughta get the world to see that North Korea are not a nation of demons, but live by the rule of law. You know, kind of a good cop bad cop sort of thing.
I mean, really… North Korea knows how U.S. popular culture works. Does Kim Jong-il really want to release these girls after 12 years and expose the world to their stories of horror?
I guess they don’t care. Or they’re not thinking straight. I don’t know which is worse.