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Reports: North Korea Sentences American Journos to 12 Years in a Labor Camp
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Please pick up the red courtesy phone (Photoshop credit:

I blogged back in March about the plight of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two American journalists working for Al Gore’s Current TV who were seized by NoKo soldiers after crossing the border illegally into the country from China while on assignment.

The Yonhap news agency just published an urgent bulletin tonight that the two reporters have been sentenced to 12 years in labor camp. AP says Ling and Lee were sentenced for committing an unspecified “grave crime” in addition to the illegal border-crossing. Keep them in your prayers.

They are pawns in a much bigger chess game, of course.

How’s that “Smart Power” working out, Hillary?

North Korea threatened on Monday to retaliate with “extreme” measures if the United Nations punished it for last month’s nuclear test, with Washington saying it may put Pyongyang back on its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday North Korea’s recent activities were being scrutinized for evidence of “support for international terrorism,” a designation that could subject the impoverished state to more financial sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council may adopt a new resolution as early as this week, but there is clear division among some members over how tough the measures against the reclusive state should be.

“Our response would be to consider sanctions against us as a declaration of war and answer it with extreme hardline measures,” the North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary.

An increasingly aggressive North indicated it was gearing up for fresh moves, issuing a no-sail warning off its east coast up to 260 km (160 miles) off the Wonsan area from where it launched a missile in May and a barrage of short-range missiles in 2006.

All together now: Gird your loins.


Where’s Al Gore, anyway?

Maybe Maddy Albright can help:

Where’s President Obama? Here:

On Saturday, Obama grumbled about his busy schedule during a stop in Caen.

“I would love nothing more than to have a leisurely week in Paris, stroll down the Seine, take my wife out to a nice meal, have a picnic in Luxembourg Gardens. Those days are over, for the moment,” Obama said to laughter.

Obama called French President Nicholas Sarkozy a friend and said the pair can pick up the phone and chat anytime.

“I think you guys are reading too much into my schedule,” Obama said.

The president flew back to Washington on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, he planned to join Vice President Joe Biden at a Cabinet meeting on reviving the economy.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)