June 8th, 2009
05:21 PM ET

To tell the truth

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/ling-lee-hostages.jpg caption="Euna Lee, left, and Laura Ling"]

Jami Floyd
In Session anchor

Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, have been convicted of “severe crimes” in North Korea. North Korea is not a country known for its fair trials, so we don’t know what these “severe crimes” are; but we do know that the women had previously been charged with “hostile acts” and espionage — which, of course, fuels rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and calls for a delicate diplomatic balancing act.

There is the humanitarian issue: trying to get these women out; and there is the political issue: North Korea, its nuclear testing and relationship with the rest of the world.

There are no diplomatic relations between the U.S. and North Korea.

This whole mess with Laura and Euna started when they were filming a documentary on the North Korean border with China.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • In Session • Jami Floyd • Lisa Ling
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    This is our American problem.
    You lead people to think they were charged with espionage they were not.
    You never mention in the article that technically America and South Korea are still at war. (One of your pundits did thankfully).
    You even say, the country North Korea is not known for fair trials but give no basis. They may have laws we do not like ( agree with) but face it the law is the law in any nation dictatorship or not and if you break it ( ignorance, accidental breach is no excuse) you pay the price.
    These people took a risk and made a possibly genuine mistake, and I feel a little sorry for them, 12 years seems ridiculous. The problem is in the sentencing which seems politically motivated for other reasons not necessarily a flawed trial procedures, laws or courts.

    June 9, 2009 at 4:13 am |
  2. wowstupidsentimentabove

    Kidnapping? What the heck? If Britian did kidnap their own countymen that is there business. There is no comparison.

    However; we have a terroistic country here, kidnapping of American citizens in a country that is clearly against any regulation from forgein bodies, is completely okay in my book. Understand that all of the so called, "Patriots," sitting at home gripiing, complaining, and telling everyone else that will listen about how the country should be run, and doing nothing, should have no say in this at all. I do believe that despite N. Korea's terroistic activites, they are doing the best thing they can. Hold hostage two American citizens and divert attention away from their military doings.

    Congrats to the crazy ole bastard running N. Korea and his son that is brainwashed as well. Sun Tzu has taught you well.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:30 am |
  3. david granger

    why is it that so many countrys hate the US l am canadian and it always seem that some country is raising hell with the us, why don,t the US just stay out of everyone business and just let everyone live ther on lives

    June 9, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  4. Alfred

    Everyone knows that N. Korea is an unfriendly nation as is Iran and other nations. Why then would someone want to go to that country? I do not feel sorry for anything that happens to people who go where they are disliked. The way America is trying to police the world is creating decension through out the world and there are many countries where Americans are disliked. If a neighbor dislikes me I do not attempt to visit or go on their property, job or no job MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.


    June 8, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  5. Arachnae

    Seems like North Korea is following Iran’s lead in legally kidnapping American journalists and holding them hostage post closed trials for trumped up charges.

    We probably should have thought of this before we started kidnapping foreigners overseas. We don't have a lot of Moral High Ground here.

    Dec 2 2007: "AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

    A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it. "

    June 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  6. Divvya

    Seems like North Korea is following Iran's lead in legally kidnapping American journalists and holding them hostage post closed trials for trumped up charges.
    Here's hoping some manner of negotiations will work and Euna Lee & Laura Ling can return home safely & reunite with their families.

    June 8, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  7. Benito Vindell

    its sad to say but id really like to know which one of the two said lets go N.Korea knowing the situation that they are in and whats more terrible is that they probaly knew that the U.S. is a highly involved nation, to where how could THEY get us into this situation. this is a very sensitive situation annythiing could upset N.Korea at this time

    June 8, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  8. Isabel, Brazil

    Yes, there is much controversy.

    • The accusation is that Laura Ling and Euna Lee entered illegally in the state with "hostile intent."
    What were these "hostile intent"?

    • Was not allowed foreign observers were present at the court hearing? Why?

    • North Korea accused the journalists of the to enter territory unlawfully, but there are reports that Euna and Laura did a report on the Chinese border.

    June 8, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  9. RalphJ

    My heart goes out to their familys and to them...This just shows you what a sorry excuss the N. Korean Government is....They are bullies and kidnappers and we need China to stand up and get their lap dogs back in line. They keep nipping at the U.N and the rest of the world and if China isn't careful, soon their little lap dog is going to go mad and really take a big bite out of one of us, and we will be forced to put it down, and that will be Chinas worst nightmare.

    June 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  10. Janine from PA.

    They need to commute this setence to deportation. If they ever cross in to NK again then they get jailed. In the meantime, severe punishment needs to be directed toward this country until they are released. The rest of the world needs to act together on this one.

    June 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    I feel for these girls – they must be terribly depressed and frightened – 12 years seems like a long time and I doubt they have much reason to think there is any way their sentences can be commuted or done away with through diplomatic negotiations. It would be nice to give them hope but perhaps its best we can't because it might turn out especially with North Korea to be false hope. I just hope they can come home sooner rather than later.

    June 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm |