As many of you have probably read this morning:
A North Korean court sentenced two U.S. journalists to 12 years in a labor camp Monday, as the government of Kim Jong Il continued to ratchet up tension with the United States and its neighbors.
It sounds absolutely horrific. Understanding little about foreign policy, I wonder what North Korea has in mind by doing things like like that. Is it that it is a purely crazy insane regime? Obviously, the lack of respect for human rights has been widely documented. In this case, the trial started on Thursday, so it was certainly a speedy one. Plus, the regime doesn’t seem too concerned about even explaining itself:
The “grave crime,” however, was not explained. The reporters had earlier been accused of unspecified “hostile acts.” Legal analysts in South Korea said the North Korean court may have sentenced the women to the maximum of 10 years of hard labor for hostile acts and added on two years for illegal entry.
Is North Korea holding these reporters hostages and expecting to use them to bargain with the U.S. government about nuclear testing?
I also wonder what Al Gore will do about that? Probably the wrong thing as usual.
Ling and Lee were working for Current TV, a cable and Web network co-founded by former vice president Al Gore, when they were detained March 17 by North Korean soldiers along the border with China. The reporters were working on a story about North Koreans who flee the country, but the circumstances of their arrest are not clear.
Read the whole thing here.