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American Journalists Detained In North Korea Will Be Tried

Uh-oh, this looks ominous.
On Tuesday, North Korea announced that it would try American journalists Euna Lee and Laura LingLisa Ling’s sister – for “hostile acts” and illegally entering the country.
The official Korean Central News Agency said, “The illegal entry of US reporters into the DPRK (North Korea) and their suspected hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their statements.”
The agency also said that the pair, who work for California-based Current TV, will be granted consular access and will be tried according to international law. The agency did not, however, specify their “hostile acts,” although South Korean reports are saying they could be tried for spying.
The situation also tries relations with North Korea, which is planning to launch a communications satellite that the US believes is just a cover for long-range missile testing.
Kim Yong-Hyun, a North Korea studies professor, surmised that “By starting legal action officially (against the journalists), North Korea revealed its intention to use them for negotiations with the US after the missile launch. North Korea will release them anyway. However it may use them as virtual hostages to deter punitive measures by the US over its launch.”
And if the pair are convicted of “hostility crime” they could face prison.
[Image via AP Images.]

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Mar 31, 2009 12:15pm PDT

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