U.S. Reporters Sentenced to 12 Years in N. Korea
Laura Ling and Euna Lee, U.S. journalists arrested in North Korea while covering defectors living along the China-North Korea border, have been sentenced to 12 years in labor camps, North Korean state media reported today.
The two women were convicted by the Central Court of North Korea for the “grave crime they committed against the Korean nation and their illegal border crossing.” The two were sentenced to “12 years of reform through labor.”
The U.S. State Department was trying to confirm the convictions with Korean Authorities.
“We are deeply concerned by the reported sentencing of the two American citizen journalists by North Korean authorities, and we are engaged through all possible channels to secure their release,” said spokesman Ian Kelley in a statement.
Ling and Lee are reporters for California-based Current TV. They have been held in North Korea since their arrest on March 17.
The State Department called for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds.