U.S. Journalists On Trial In North Korea

Today, the trial for American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee began in North Korea. The two women, who work for Al Gore’s Current TV, were arrested March 17 near the North Korean border on accusations of illegal entry and “hostile acts.” If convicted, Ling and Lee could face time in a labor camp — some reports say as long as 20 years. Since the two were arrested nearly three months ago, communication with them has been difficult because the United States and North Korea don’t have diplomatic relationships. Now, tensions have increased as a result of North Korea testing missiles and nuclear weapons. Ling’s sister, National Geographic Channel “Explorer” correspondent Lisa Ling said she hopes her sister and Lee aren’t being used as bargaining chips in a bigger debate.The families of both women went on “The Today Show” earlier this week, saying they wanted to apologize if Ling and Lee accidentally crossed into North Korea, because it wasn’t their intention to enter the country when they left the U.S. The Obama administration has been trying to negotiate their release, so hopefully something will work out over the next few days. During the “Today” interview, Matt Lauer asked Lee’s husband how he explains what’s going on to their 4-year-old daughter. He responded while holding her, saying, “She still thinks Mommy’s at work.” This story is heartbreaking, and we hope the women will be released soon. [Today, NY Daily News, CNN]