North Korean Court Sentenced two U.S. journalists, Laura Ling & Euna Lee to 12 Years in a Labor Camp


North Korean Kin Jong Il dictator continues to play a game of chicken with the United States and the Obama Administration. A North Korean court has sentenced two US journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, to 12 years in a labor camp. The trail of Laura Ling and Euna Lee lasted 5 days where outside observers were not allowed to attend. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were accused of “grave crime” committed against the Korean nation and their illegal border crossing.


Euna Lee and Laura Ling

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.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, television reporters detained in March along North Korea’s border with China, received harsher sentences than many outsiders had expected. But several experts in South Korea predicted that talks will begin soon to negotiate their release.

The U.S. government said it was “deeply concerned.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated the charges against the two were baseless and also that the United States is considering putting North Korea back on its terrorism blacklist following its nuclear test. One wonders why they were ever taken off the list in the first place.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained by North Korean border guards on March 17, 2009 along the Tumen River, which marks the North Korean border with China.

The Jawa Report has pretty much nailed the reason why North Korea and Kim Jong Il are making such a big deal of the poker chips they were handed. Kim Jong-Il wants the attention and is looking for a payoff for the two journalists in order to free them.

The last American to enter North Korea uninvited was a young man named Evan Carl Hunziker.

The last American to enter uninvited was a troubled young man named Evan Carl Hunziker, who swam across the river dividing the country from China while drunk and remained there for five weeks. He was only released after Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico who was then a US Congressman, travelled to North Korea with a $5,000 “accommodation fee”. Mr Hunziker shot himself dead a month later after falling into depression.

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  • North and South Korea Exchange Artillery Round Fire
  • North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dead at the Age of 69

  • Comments

    25 Responses to “North Korean Court Sentenced two U.S. journalists, Laura Ling & Euna Lee to 12 Years in a Labor Camp”

    1. Rusty Bridges on June 8th, 2009 7:16 am

      God speed on their release.

      I couldn’t imagine depending on hillary clinton for my freedom.

    2. J Trefil on June 8th, 2009 7:41 am

      Prediction: Typical Western Woman (edit) Pass.

      If they were men, this story wouldn’t even be covered. Both the USGov and Media would say who cares. But since the US and the West is totally feminized, they’re “deeply concerned” talks to negotiate their release will “begin soon.” What a bunch of BS.
      SM: I understand your point, lets just keep it clean.

    3. Tamikosmom on June 8th, 2009 10:44 am

      IF these reporters intentionally entered North Korea illegally … then they must be prepared to accept the consequences now that they are caught.

      Consider the current situation with the illegal mass “migration” from Mexico to the United States … the current situation of appeasing and abetting … the current situation where illegals are demanding rights.

      What is the deterrent for illegally crossing the border. None! There are no consequences… only benefits compliments of the American administration.

      Also … ideal opportunities are being afforded to spies … terrorists. What happened to Homeland Security?

    4. Tamikosmom on June 8th, 2009 11:30 am

      North Korea Convicts 2 U.S. Journalists
      By Blaine Harden
      Washington Post Foreign Service
      Monday, June 8, 2009 10:08 AM

      Laura Ling and Euna Lee, television reporters detained in March along North Korea’s border with “China, received harsher sentences than many outsiders had expected.

      BUT several experts in South Korea predicted that talks will begin soon to negotiate their release.


      What a scarey thought that “experts” in South Korea even entertain the thought that North Korea holds the balance of power and …the United States administration would ever consider entering into negotiations.

      If these reporters were wrongly convicted … then North Korea should be FEARING some type of retaliation from what was once perceived the greatest nation on the face of the earth … not anticipating “negotiations”.

      If these reporters intentionally crossed the border into North Korea illegally … the United States should not get involved. The implication of US involvement would dictate that the administration would come to the assistist/ rescue of all Americans who are facing consequences in other countries for disregarding the established legal systems.

    5. 11B40 on June 8th, 2009 12:49 pm


      I live out near the Peoples’ Republic of San Francisco where these women’s employer is located. On the TV news this weekend, a reporter said that “we” weren’t even sure that the women had even entered North Korea. That made me think that maybe they were just having a little picnic on China’s northwest border when the North Korean Pre-emptive Littering Police swept across and scooped them up.

      Kind of reminded me of the Bronx folk-wisdom about a defendant telling a judge, “I was just standing on the corner cleaning my knife when this woman ran up and jumped on it 27 times.

      Sometimes, resume building has consequences.

    6. Greg the Mongoose on June 8th, 2009 1:26 pm

      The Hunziker story sounded pretty grim..
      Did they torture him before the release?
      Was he suicidal before crossing into NK border?

      Why must the USA be held responsible for idiots who cross the borders illegally into hostile countries? Reporter seem to be above the law.
      I have seen investigating reporters go thru other peoples mail and create news. Instead of reporting the news.

      Only CIA would cross the border into NK! I heard they work for AL Gore. Is AL Gore a CIA control agent?

    7. buster on June 8th, 2009 2:54 pm

      You would have to be out of your mind to be anywhere near the North’s borders and if you where then you will have to face the North’s harsh punishment. Just think of the story they will get if you can survive the 12 years in the Gulag. God bless and give them strength.

    8. Tamikosmom on June 8th, 2009 3:02 pm

      IF and I say IF … these two reporters did cross the border into North Korea illegally with the intentions of getting a story to reveal to the world … it would have been them who would have reaped the benefits. The possible risks and related consequences should have been determined prior to venturing on such a unsanctioned mission.

      Why should the US administration be put in a position of coming to the rescue of Americans who knowingly choose to disregard the established legal systems of other countries?

      If the US Administration negotiates the release of these two reporters … a precedent will have been set and … all American sitting in foreign prisons are entitled to to the same representation.

    9. Auntiem on June 8th, 2009 4:07 pm

      Laura Ling’s mother is fluent in Mandarin, so it is quite possible that these young ladies were picnicking, innocently, maybe visiting relatives. Can’t you people see that the North Koreans are testing the waters and very slowly, but SURELY seeing how far they can push the US and the rest of the free world….they are pushing more and more, while Obama bows down and kisses Arabs’ feet! It’s like the innocent disbelief of the Jews in Nazi Germany, only far more OBVIOUS!!

      I say, send the CIA (they’re not doing much, it seems lately) and kidnap loved ones of Kim Jung!

      Fight fire with fire!!!!

    10. Tamikosmom on June 8th, 2009 5:51 pm


      If these two were tourists who innocently put themselves in harm’s way … I may put some weight in your words but … it would be too much of coincidence that two AMERICAN Chinese REPORTERS were having a picnic on the China side of the border when they were kidnapped by North Koreans. Why would North Korea suspect they were Americans? Why would North Korea suspect they were reporters?

      Hey … even the US Administration is not claiming these two reporters were kidnapped. North Korea is being requested to release these two on humanitarian grounds.

      Unless it is proved that these two American reporters were kidnapped … unless it is proved that these American reporters did not intentionally enter North Korea illegally … I believe the United States administration should just stay out of it. Involvement would open up a can of worms.

      Other American families would demand US Administration representation in regards to their loved ones sitting in foreign prisons who happen not to be pretty Chinese reporters that caught the attention of the media.

    11. david r on June 8th, 2009 8:23 pm

      Look for Obama to trade them Minuteman missiles with 50 megaton warheads, plus targeting instructions, to secure the girls’ release.

    12. Factoid on June 8th, 2009 9:42 pm

      My question: for two so qualified and able reporters, are these two ratty ass photos the best that are available?

      Come on.

    13. Tamikosmom on June 8th, 2009 10:24 pm

      Families Plead for Clemency for U.S. Reporters Sentenced to 12 Years Hard Labor
      Monday, June 08, 2009

      … The families were “shocked and devastated” by the sentence, according to the statement, which was issued through the families’ New York-based spokeswoman, Alanna Zahn. They asked the North Korean government “to show compassion” and grant the women clemency.

      “We believe that the three months they have already spent under arrest with little communication with their families is long enough,” the families said.

      The statement also alluded to the diplomatic sensitivities of their arrest and subsequent trial, which came at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea over that country’s nuclear program.

      It said the women were on assignment when they were arrested.

      “We don’t know what really happened on March 17, but if they wandered across the border without permission, we apologize on their behalf and we are certain that they have also apologized,” the statement said …,2933,525470,00.html

    14. Barbara A. Thompson on June 9th, 2009 8:39 am

      Maybe Al Gore should cease his drivel regarding global warming and go over there in person and get his employees out of prison. (Maybe they’ll keep him too!!! Just hoping.)

    15. Tamikosmom on June 9th, 2009 9:17 am

      American Journalists Sentenced to 12 Years Hard Time in North Korea
      Aired June 8, 2009 – 21:00 ET

      JOY BEHAR, GUEST HOST: How do you think they’re being treated right now?

      I mean you say they won’t be home until Christmas. That would even scare me if I was the family. I want them home yesterday.

      FRANKLIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT, SAMARITAN’S PURSE: Well, these girls should have thought twice before they crossed the border. This isn’t like coming into the United States. This is the most heavily guarded border in the world and it’s going into one of the most dangerous countries in the world. And it’s unfortunate that these two very nice girls got caught. But there are consequences to a person’s actions.

      And we need to be focusing about what the real issues are. And those are the nuclear weapons that they’re developing. We have got to stay focused on that.

      And I think these girls — we can talk quietly behind-the-scenes.

    16. Paul on June 9th, 2009 1:32 pm

      Look if they were truely in N.K. without permission or visa or whatever to bad. Let them rot.

    17. Auntiem on June 9th, 2009 6:32 pm

      Re #15===I don’t watch or give any credance to CNN and that biotch Joy Behar…..try turning on FOX O’Reilly, Hannity and Greta are truthful!!

    18. Auntiem on June 9th, 2009 6:36 pm

      North Korea is surrounded by powerful enemies….China, Japan, not to mention South Korea and the US…..why are we all tolerating this crazy man and his threats. We are sitting around being intimidated by this half-dead lunatic!!

    19. ANewGirl on June 9th, 2009 8:12 pm

      #18–so true, so true. I like the idea of capturing some of Jung’s loved ones and imprisoning them here. Then again, that would be such an upgrade for them–they’d never want to leave.

      Jung would have made a much more sinister move sooner if he could have gotten away with it—I believe he knows full well what the consequences will be. Problem is—he is plotting and planning and can never be trusted. Evil little Curmedugeon that he is! In a Ployester Leisure suit to boot! Ugh

    20. ANewGirl on June 9th, 2009 8:13 pm


    21. ThEhApPsTeR on June 9th, 2009 9:05 pm

      Maaan. As a traveler, you can’t mess around with evil dictators. I hope they get out, but what did they think might happen? You have to be ready to face a country’s laws if you go there. I hope they get out, but i hope all of the other people in their prisons get out as well. What are they? Chopped liver? We should have made a point with him a lot sooner.

    22. Auntiem on June 11th, 2009 6:54 pm

      Laura Ling or her companion, had previously done a piece on inhumane conditions in North Korea, her face was well known to North Koreans in power and she was a TARGET of Kim Jung!! I would also believe that even though they were Chinese,
      they would stand out as Americans, especially in the boonies near North Korea. They might not even have been ANYWHERE NEAR north Korea, just in China, but their presence well-known to the NKs.

    23. Auntiem on June 13th, 2009 12:31 pm

      Obama is so worried about sending Chinese prisoners back to China, for fear of THEIR safety…so off to one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to..( and by the way the 4 prisoners found Gitmo “Paradise” compared to China) but leaves two AMERICAN young ladies to suffer in North Korea.. WHAT IS HE THINKING!!!

    24. Academy of Art University on June 16th, 2009 1:55 pm

      Euna Lee is a 2001 graduate of the Academy of Art University. We have compiled an online petition to call for the immediate release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Please join us by adding your name:

    25. Roger Maggio on July 8th, 2009 10:36 pm

      Wher is that coward Al Gore? He can talk a good line about the enviorment but he keeps his mouth shut about two American women that worked for a company he founded.

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