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Thread: Al Gore may go to North Korea to free American reporters

  1. #1
    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Al Gore may go to North Korea to free American reporters

    Al Gore May Go to N. Korea to Free American Reporters - North Korea | Map | Government - FOXNews.com

    be sent to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists on trial, the AFP reported.

    Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for Gore's California-based Current TV, were arrested March 17 near the North Korean border while on a reporting trip to China on charges they entered the country illegally and engaged in "hostile acts" allegations that could draw a 10-year sentence in a labor camp.


    State Department spokesman Ian Kelly did not rule out the possibility of Gore being sent when asked if it would make sense for him to go.


    "It's a very, very sensitive issue, I'm not going to go into it," Kelly told reporters. "This is such a sensitive issue, I'm just not going to go into those kinds of discussions that we may or may not have had," he said about whether Gore himself had raised the matter with the State Department.


    "The bottom line is that these two young women should be released but I'm not going to go into any kind of details on what we will or won't do," Kelly said.


    North Korea was silent Friday about the fate of the journalists, who were supposed to go on trial a day earlier.


    Their trial began in the communist country's highest court at a time of mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula following the regime's provocative May 25 nuclear test.


    As the United Nations and Washington discussed how to punish the regime for its defiance, there were fears the women could become political pawns in the standoff with Pyongyang.


    Analyst Choi Eun-suk, a professor of North Korean law at Kyungnam University, said the court could convict the women, and then the government could use them as bargaining chips with the United States.


    "The North is likely to release and deport them to the U.S. if negotiations with the U.S. go well," Choi said.


    The two nations do not have diplomatic relations, and experts called Pyongyang's belligerence a bid to grab President Barack Obama's attention.


    North Korea's official news agency said the trial would begin by mid-afternoon Thursday, but nearly one day later, there was no word on the status of the proceedings. A State Department spokesman said American officials had seen no independent confirmation that the case was under way.


    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    This makes me nervous.

  2. #2
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    They should just send Jesse Jackson over there. Either he can get the reporters released or Little Kim keeps him there instead. Win-win situation either way.

    The two nations do not have diplomatic relations, and experts called Pyongyang's belligerence a bid to grab President Barack Obama's attention.
    That seems about right. Nobody puts North Korea in the corner.

  3. #3
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    little kim
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  4. #4
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I stole Little Kim from Bill Maher.

  5. #5
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    it's brilliant. i love bill maher.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  6. #6
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Yowza they just sentenced the two to 12 years in some prison labor camp or the like. Now I've heard stories of some of them places and they ain't no picnic.

  7. #7
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is some bullshit. 12 years labor?

    This is why you stay out of fucked up countries like this.

    NKorea sentences 2 US journalists to 12 years jail

    By VIJAY JOSHI, Associated Press Writer Vijay Joshi, Associated Press Writer 43 mins ago

    SEOUL, South Korea North Korea's top court convicted two American journalists and sentenced them to 12 years in labor prison Monday, intensifying the reclusive nation's confrontation with the United States.
    The North's Central Court tried TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee during proceedings running from last Thursday to Monday and found them guilty of a "grave crime" against the nation, and of illegally crossing into North Korea, the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
    It said the court "sentenced each of them to 12 years of reform through labor." The KCNA report gave no other details.
    Ling and Lee who were working for former Vice President Al Gore's California-based Current TV cannot appeal because they were tried in North Korea's highest court, where decisions are final.
    Many analysts believe there is a good chance the two woman will be freed. They say the reporters are being used by Pyongyang as bargaining chips in its standoff with South Korea and the United States, which are pushing for U.N. sanctions to punish the North for its latest nuclear test and a barrage of missile tests.
    By sentencing them to prison, North Korea has "paved the way for a political pardon and a diplomatic solution," said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies.
    He noted that a pardon can only be issued after a conviction and that the regime's courts were not about to find the reporters innocent, which would imply they were wrongly arrested.
    Kim Yong-hyun, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, said the sentence the maximum possible allowed by the North's laws could have been a reaction to strong statements from the U.S., including threats of sanctions and putting North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.
    "I think this is the North's response to recent hard-line moves by the U.S.," Kim said. "But the sentence doesn't mean much because the issue will be resolved diplomatically in the end."
    The circumstances surrounding the trial of the two journalists and their arrest March 17 on the China-North Korean border have been shrouded in secrecy, as is typical of the reclusive nation. The trial was not open to the public or foreign observers, including the Swedish Embassy, which looks after American interests in the absence of diplomatic relations.
    The two were reporting about the trafficking of women at the time of their arrest, and it's unclear if they strayed into the North or were grabbed by aggressive border guards who crossed into China.
    U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Washington was trying to confirm press reports of the sentencing.
    Kelly said the U.S. was "deeply concerned" about the sentences and that officials would "engage in all possible channels" to free the women.
    Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said the former vice president has no comment. The South Korean government also did not comment. Alanna Zahn, a spokeswoman for the journalists' families, said the family members are not currently available for any interviews.
    Another American who was tried in North Korea in 1996 was treated more leniently. Evan C. Hunziker, apparently acting on a drunken dare, swam across the Yalu River which marks the North's border with China and was arrested after farmers found the man, then 26, naked. He was accused of spying and detained for three months before being freed after negotiations with a special U.S. envoy.
    The North Koreans wanted Hunziker to pay a $100,000 criminal fine but eventually agreed on a $5,000 payment to settle a bill for a hotel where he was detained.
    ___
    Associated Press Writers Jae-Soon Chang and Bill Foreman contributed to this report.

    Print Story: NKorea sentences 2 US journalists to 12 years jail - Yahoo! News

  8. #8
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I hope they free them. North Korea and China are two places that scare the hell out of me.

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Jesus, twelve years? They have no chance. Unless someone gets them out QUICK, they're done. They'll literally shoot you for nothing in North Korean prison camps.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    Can we trade GW Bush and Dick Cheney for these women?

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