Statements   |   North Korea

Concerns remain for U.S. journalists in North Korea

Responding to a Korea Central News Agency report that Euna Lee and Laura Ling have admitted crossing illegally into North Korea and trying to slander the state, we released the following statement today...

"These two journalists were convicted after a trial that was not open to international observers. There has been no transparency in the way North Korea has treated them and this report does not mitigate our concerns about their well-being," said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. "At the same time we are hopeful that these latest developments pave the way for the release of these journalists on humanitarian grounds."

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I don't get how this statement or the actions of the Korean government can lead you to the conclusion that they'll be released on humanitarian grounds. Is there nothing more people can do?

Why are the other MSM reports cutting out the paragraph of KCNA release about the trip being planned since January with David Neuman and David H. the legal guy (who used to be head of Def Jam Records, so he’s not exactly an expert in what’s best practices in journalism)?

I’ve seem reports that the two women were dressed like refugees–was this some sort of “recreation”? That’s cheesy.

Why did Current send Euna Lee, a video editor with no field experience? Too cheap to hire a translator? And wouldn’t her South Korean dialect give her away?

Why did Current send Laura Ling–her sister’s misrepresentation of herself with the eye surgeon’s entrouage (which resulted in a National Geo. documentary–itself no work of genius) had to have put her and her sister on the North Korean’s secret police hit list?

I think “animation files” is a just a poor translation for video.

And working for the BBC and other big news and documentary outfits is a whole lot safer for a freelancer than working for a place like Current.

They had no helpers–crew was Mitch, Laura, Euna and the Chinese local hire.