North Korea Sentences Current TV Journalists to 12 Years of Labor

Terrible news. The two Current TV journalists arrested for trespassing in North Korea have been found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in labor camp. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested March 17 by North Korean guards; they were working on a story about refugees on the China border and it’s not clear if they actually crossed the border themselves.

The conviction cannot be appealed through the North Korean court system as Ling and Lee were tried in the country’s highest court. Analysts had previously said a worst-case scenario would be that the women would be sentenced to 10 years in labor camps.

The Al Gore-founded Current has not commented publicly on any aspect of the situation, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was “incredibly concerned” but did not want to interfere while the trial was ongoing. One analyst told the Associated Press that he expected Pyongyang will release the two if the U.S. reciprocates by sending an envoy to North Korea, which is currently fraying international relations by engaging in nuclear tests. More background and links here.