North Korea sentences US reporters to 12 years of hard labor on bogus charges

June 8, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Defiant nation North Korea continues to ratchet up the tension convicting two U.S. journalists, and sentenced them to 12 years of hard labor, the country’s state news agency reported Monday. Seemingly pushing the boundaries of how far it was willing to take its confrontation with the United States, the isolated little Communist country tried American TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee for an unspecified “grave crime” against the nation, and of illegally crossing into North Korea.  The two reporters were originally detained on March 17th.
Because their 5-day trial was before the nation’s highest court, no appeal is possible. Ling and Lee had been working in China for former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV and were reporting on the international trafficking of women. Many speculate that the pair may have actually been abducted and taken across the border and tried as leverage in negotiations with both the U.S. and the United Nations. Washington recently warned that it might try to return North Korea to its list of states that sponsor terrorism, a designation that could subject the impoverished state to more financial sanctions. It seems to be a well earned designation. Laura Ling by the way is the sister of former View co-host Lisa Ling.


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