The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings


Supporting Our Brothers and Sisters by the Bay

Until Current TV co-founder Al Gore (@AlGore) spoke out last Friday on the CNN program American Morning, there had been nary a public word from the San Francisco network about the detainment in North Korea of employees Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Given Ling’s additional stature within Current as a Vice President of their Vanguard unit and the overall nature of the outlet’s orientation and free spirited employees, can you imagine how difficult it must be for each and every one there to remain silent on the whole situation? Exactly.

That’s why anyone wishing to voice their anger about the Laura LingEuna Lee situation needs to do so not by taking an ill-informed potshot at Current TV, a company constrained by the wishes of the detainees’ families and high-level back channel efforts. Look instead to the next round of vigils on Thursday, May 21st in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland and Orlando, organized by fellow hard working volunteers. Look to the petition linked at the @LiberateLaura profile, which delivered more than 25,000 signatures in its first phase earlier this month to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles and the Korean Consulate in Hawaii. Look to your friends and colleagues on the social networks that you frequent. And so on.

Trust me; the people at @Current are torn up about this perverse example of political gamesmanship. But as Gore explained to CNN – and the world, not a day goes by without him and others working on securing Ling and Lee’s freedom. So… Please continue to watch Current TV, continue to mobilize for its detained employees and be thankful for one merciful ace up our sleeve.

That would be Mitch Koss, the Current producer-cameraman who was with Ling and Lee on March 17th at the Chinese-Korean border. No matter what trumped up charges North Korea tries to foist upon American citizens Ling and Lee at the upcoming June 4th Pyongyang “trial,” we have in Koss an eyewitness (perhaps even with film in the camera) who can counter any and all false claims.


Filed under: Euna Lee, Laura Ling

3 Responses

  1. Tim Freeman says:

    My personal essay about Laura (which can be found by clicking on the backlink) sort of takes “ill-informed potshots” at Kim Jong-il and the prospect of Laura spending 20 years in one of North Korea’s notorious hard labor camps. Getting angry is counterproductive. We should be optimistic and pray for peace. We need to realize that the North Koreans, who we fear and call evil, are humans just like we are. The same spirit which dwells in them also dwells in us. We need to hope that both of our common senses will prevail and result in the right decision being reached – which is the safe release of all 3 detainess. We need to pray that Laura, Euna and Mitch will all return home to their friends and their families and their pets. And we also need to honor their journalistic zeal which got them into this whole mess in the first place. It is easy to sit at home and take “potshots,” but people like these 3 detained journalists are the real people who are tearing down walls. I conjure up an image of Laura breaking rocks in my essay. Being angry is like breaking rocks. To be angry for a whole lifetime is like spending a lifetime in a hard labor camp breaking rocks. Nothing ever gets accomplished. Walls go up when people become angry. Only love can tear them down.

    • liberatelaura says:

      We linked to your great “Slow Dancing with Laura Ling” piece @LiberateLaura when it first published.

      The best analogy I can think of re: North Koreans is that they are like children in a family dominated by an abusive father. They know not that what they are experiencing is hyper-dysfunctional.

      Also, fyi, cameraman Mitch Koss was never captured. He, and the possible double agent driver-guide, escaped. Koss returned quickly to the U.S. and has kept, understandably, a super low profile.

      Finally, to your thoughts about being angry, I agree. In the spirit of Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s work, we need to be proactive, thoughtful, intelligent.

  2. Eric says:

    “The best analogy I can think of re: North Koreans is that they are like children in a family dominated by an abusive father.”

    Or a schizophrenic father.

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