You may have read a few weeks ago that Current.TV reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling (sister of Lisa Ling), were detained in North Korea, as their guide reportedly lead the two across the border into North Korea accidentally while Lee and Ling were reporting on North Korean defectors crossing the border into China. The incident has now escalated: Lee and Ling have been imprisoned and interrogated the past few weeks and now being charged by the North Korean government, according to reports:
“Two American journalists detained in North Korea will be indicted and tried on charges of perpetrating “hostile acts” against the Communist state, a crime punishable by years in a labor camp, the North’s state-run news agency reported on Tuesday. Pyongyang’s decision to put Laura Ling and Euna Lee on trial signaled that the regime has no intention of freeing them soon.”
I’ve always been fascinated by North Korea, and it’s easy to make fun of Kim Jung Il, but its incidents like this that continue to reinforce in my mind that North Korea is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable governments and regimes in the world. North Korea has always been, in my mind, a more dangerous threat to stability than Iraq and Iran and have demonstrated that since the detonation of a nuclear weapon back in 2006. Since the United States doesn’t have direct diplomatic relationship with North Korea, the U.S. is going through Sweden, which does have an embassy in Pyongyang, to resolve this issue. I’m not sure what we as Americans can do to help in the release of Lee and Ling, but my prayers are certainly with them and their families and their hopeful safe and quick return.