American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea.
The pair were arrested in March for illegally crossing into North Korea from China with the intent to commit "hostile acts." They were put on "trial" last week.
Clearly, Ling and Lee are being used as bargaining chips to gain concessions from the Obama Administration as the North Koreans continue to test missiles and state the armistice with South Korea is over.
The ball is now in the Obama's court. The question is will he know what to do with it.
My guess is that they will quietly give North Korea some food and money in exchange for the release of Ling and Lee. I predict this will be done by the Fourth of July.
Their release is of utmost importance but I suspect that at the end of the day North Korea's hand will have been strengthened. When North Korea says jump all Obama can do is say how high.
Meanwhile, Iran will be observing what transpires between Obama and North Korea with great interest.