Wednesday, May 13, 2009

North Korea To Put Two American Journalists On Trial June 4th

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the two American journalists kidnapped by the North Koreans in March along the North Korean-Chinese border, are to be put on trial June 4th.

The pair are accused of illegally entering North Korea and could face five to ten years in prison.

The North Koreans are holding Ling and Lee in order to extract concessions from the United States. Would the North Koreans kidnap Americans if they didn't think the Obama Administration would play ball with them? Dongguk University professor Koh Yu-hwan, an expert regarding North Korea, has said , "The North now has higher expectation of the U.S. showing some sort of response, such as a visit of a high-level envoy to Pyongyang."

Simply put there's a reason the North Koreans didn't touch Americans when the Bush Administration was running the show. But now all bets are off. Clearly the North Koreans were watching what was happening with Roxana Saberi in Iran.

Michael Ledeen of National Review Online has speculated the Obama Administration paid some kind of ransom to the Iranians to secure Saberi's release. If this is the case then North Korea will surely expect twice the consideration.

But perhaps most shameful in all of this that neither President Obama nor former Vice-President Al Gore (whose Current TV employs Ling and Lee) have condemned North Korea for its actions against our own citizens. It's inexcusable.

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