Two American reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were sentenced today to 12 years in a labor prison in North Korea. The two young journalists were reporting on the trafficking of women when they were arrested by North Korean officials on the North Korean-Chinese border.
The reporters were working for Al Gore’s California-based Current TV. The former vice president has offered no comment on the situation.
Because they were tried in North Korea’s highest court, there is no chance to appeal the sentence. However, experts on North Korea like Koh Yu-hwan at Dongguk University in Seoul say that a good chance exists that the Americans will be released as a gesture of goodwill from North Korea to the U.S. and that something in return will be expected from the U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that she was “incredibly concerned” for the young reporters, but did not want to send an envoy during the trial.