June 16th, 2009
12:08 PM ET

N. Korea: U.S. journalists were creating 'smear campaign'

Program Note: Tonight in an exclusive interview, Anderson speaks with Laura's and Euna's family members, Lisa Ling, Iain Clayton and Michael Saldate. Hear what they have to say about this latest news out of North Korea on the fates of Laura and Euna on AC 360º at 10 P.M. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/06/16/nkorea.journalists/art.korea.afp.gi.jpg caption="Supporters rally for U.S. journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling on June 4 in Seoul, South Korea."]


North Korea's state media released a "detailed report" Tuesday claiming that American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee entered the country illegally in order to record material for a "smear campaign" against the reclusive communist state.

It added that the two women "admitted that what they did were criminal acts ... prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies at it."

Ling and Lee were sentenced this month to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea.

They were arrested in March for "having illegally trespassed into the border of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as North Korea is officially known] and committed hostile acts against it for which they were tried."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak urged North Korea to release the two journalists Tuesday in a joint appearance with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. Obama did not mention them. Relations between North and South Korea are extremely tense.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • North Korea
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Its frusteded that only Anderson remember this two journalist.Here in Germany the media ignor the issue.Nobody asking what going on in North Korea.We as human have to support the families.I am honest,i dont know,how!All i can do is pray and hope,and never forget them!

    June 17, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  2. Gary T.

    It is Too bad that North Korea has to Lie & Unfairly Punish Women to make a statement internationally!

    Is this what the Men of North Korea want as a representation to the World??

    Feed your own people!

    June 17, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  3. David

    Why cant the United States ask "can we have our citizens back".Would it be so wrong to say that outloud!

    June 17, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  4. jill , florida usa

    I have been following this story and I still can not believe the allegations and the sentenjce served by the n.korean govmnt. I am so scared for these 2 women and can't imagine what it will be like survivng in a n.korean labor camp. These women will not be able to speak to their loved ones for 12 years. I would doubt that they will be allowed to write or recieve letters. They have been sucked into a black hole.....and there seems to be nothing that we can do.

    June 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  5. Isabel, Brazil

    It is absurd and frightening to think that the story of Laura Ling and Lee Euna will finish this way and that nothing can be done to bring them back to their homes.

    AC360 is to be congratulated because it continues helping the journalists. The other media ignored the issue and let the journalists condemned the very lucky.

    June 16, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Now you know that this supposed statement made by Lee and Ling was coerced! They are probably scared out of their minds and will do just about anything that the N. Koreans want them too.


    June 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  7. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    And the North Korean government was expected to say something different because... It's no surprise that they feel this way nor that our government hasn't freed them yet and our president has stayed out of it today. Diplomacy takes time and works for the greater good. People may not always get the answers they want when they want them. Trust this administration to do what it needs to do to keep all of our interests safe in this time of conflict with North Korea.

    June 16, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  8. b.

    thank you for the update... I have been thinking of them...really don't want to forget them, and I like Lisa Ling. i guess i don't understand the above statement, "Obama did not mention them"...why didn't he? anyway... i'll wait for tinight's update...i'm done blogging for the month...

    June 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm |