North Korea Sentences US Scribes to 12 Years of Hard Labour

US journalists’ nightmare with die-hard US hostile states is still not over. They were punished for spying (investigative reporting) and are being punished. Interestingly, all these jurnos are women.

Of late, North Korea sentenced two American journalists to 12 years of hard labor. Experts believe that the move can be interpreted as a test of how far the isolated Communist state was willing to take its confrontation with the United States.

According to North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, the state’s highest court the Central Court held the trial of the two Americans, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, from Thursday to Monday and convicted them of “committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry,”

Ms Ling and Ms Lee were detained by North Korean soldiers patrolling the border between China and North Korea on March 17.

“We are deeply concerned by the reported sentencing of the two American citizen journalists by North Korean authorities and we are engaged through all possible channels to secure their release,” Ian C Kelly, a State Department spokesman, said in statement quoted by Reuters. “We once again urge North Korea to grant the immediate release of the two American citizen journalists on humanitarian grounds.”

Calling the charges as “baseless”, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has demanded that the North forgo the legal proceedings and release the two women.

The trial was closed to foreign observers, including diplomats from the Swedish Embassy who have met the journalists on Washington’s behalf because the United States and North Korea have no diplomatic relations.

The sentence, which cannot be appealed, came amid rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. Earlier Monday, North Korea threatened to retaliate with “extreme” measures if the United Nations punished it for its nuclear test last month, and Washington warned that it might try to restore the North to its list of states that sponsor terrorism, a designation that could subject the impoverished state to more financial sanctions.

“Our response would be to consider sanctions against us as a declaration of war and answer it with extreme hard-line mes,” the North Korea’s state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said in a commentary.

Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were on a reporting assignment from Current TV, a San Francisco-based media company co-founded by Al Gore, the former vice president, when they were detained by the soldiers. The reporters were working on a report about North Korean refugees — women and children — who had fled their homeland in hopes of finding food in China.
The circumstances surrounding their capture remain unclear.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker