The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings

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LiberateLaura@gmail.com

Something Rotten in Pyongyang

It was a writer for @timesonline, Ben MacIntyre, who noted a few weeks ago that the drama currently unfolding in North Korea was one worthy of Shakespeare. To wit, “Mad king (Kim Jong-il) attempts to secure succession for favored son (Kim Jong-un) by a show of strength, unleashing chaos.”

Unfortunately, into that mad kingdom, just ahead of the chaos, wandered @Current journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. On Tuesday, March 17th, whether by accident or the trickery of a paid-off Chinese guide, they are alleged to have stepped across an invisible border line at a bridge crossing between China and North Korea. Harsh interrogations and two and a half months of solitary confinement followed, and now, after a brief trial, an absurd sentence of 12 years of hard labor for illegally crossing the border and an unspecified “grave crime.”

The Shakespearean analogy is useful because it allows us, just slightly, to make sense of the unfathomable June 8th LingLee verdict. Kim Jong-il is indeed pushing it to the limit on the diplomatic, nuclear and innocent Americans fronts, all in a bid to reassure the country’s military hard liners that a Kim Jong-un succession will maintain the Amy-first status quo. (According to analysts, this sort of political climate makes it especially hard for anyone in a position of power in North Korea to currently speak up in favor of clemency for Ling, Lee.)

Despite repeated pleas by sister Lisa Ling and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the morphing regime of Kim Jong-il has chosen to marry the fates of Laura Ling and Euna Lee to their broader game of all-in, high stakes political poker. The brain trust is going for broke, with hopes perhaps of obtaining a cash-rich normalization deal from the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

In the meantime, the only “grave crime” when it comes to Laura Ling and Euna Lee has been committed by North Korea; the “Dear Leader” and his dear followers are guilty of subjecting two lovely, vibrant young American women to seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months of excruciating psychological torture.

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Filed under: Euna Lee, Laura Ling

15 Responses

  1. tortacular says:

    This is a travesty. I think that North Korea will find this is the wrong path to travel down. Hopefully this will be over soon.

  2. Lar says:

    There used to be recent tweets on this page from @Liberatelaura.
    Perhaps embed a twitter link or ask people to follow you @. on this header?
    For all humanity and our country you are performing an immeasurable public service.

  3. GI Korea says:

    Do you know if the Chinese guide has been found yet and if the cameraman plans on talking about what happened that day?

  4. liberatelaura says:

    GI Korea: No, there has been no report of the Chinese guide being found. Apparently, activists in South Korea are familiar with this person, and viewed him as questionable prior to this event. He is likely in hiding somewhere.

    Lar: Tweets do show up to the right on main page. Must have been temporarily not loading when you visited. And thanks for your kind words.

  5. Belinda says:

    When is Current going to let Mitch Koss speak?

  6. liberatelaura says:

    Belinda: I’m not sure it’s up to @Current. Fifty-three-year-old Glendale, CA resident Koss may have been told by the State Dept. to keep quiet, or chosen, after debriefing, to not say anything publicly.

  7. Beau says:

    What, if anything can we continue to do to help with the efforts to return these two?

    • liberatelaura says:

      At this point, it really is in the hands of the federal government. And the federal government has indicated it is doing everything it can, thwarted so far by a succession-driven vacuum.

      For ex., before sentencing, Obama NK point man tried multiple times to set up visit to Pyongyang, and there were also inquiries made to NK about Al Gore going. No response to any of those efforts.

  8. […] This post was Twitted by netteradio – Real-url.org […]

  9. […] Unfortunately, into that mad kingdom, just ahead of the chaos, wandered @Current journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. On Tuesday, March 17th, whether by accident or the trickery of a paid-off Chinese guide, they are alleged to have stepped across an invisible border line at a bridge crossing between China and North Korea. Harsh interrogations and two and a half months of solitary confinement followed, and now, after a brief trial, an absurd sentence of 12 years of hard labor for illegally crossing the border and an unspecified “grave crime.”  [Liberate Laura and Euna] […]

  10. olly says:

    we’ve been told by selig harrison that Al Gore has been ‘held back’ from visiting north korea to try and negotiate the release of laura and euna, you can listen to the interview here

    http://fsn.typepad.com/blog/2009/06/exclusive-audio-al-gore-held-back-from-visiting-north-korea-to-help-laura-ling-and-euna-lee.html

  11. […] LiberateLaura, a blog authored by Los Angeles entertainment journalist Richard Horgan, describes events happening in North Korea as “worthy of Shakespeare” and questions the decision of the “Hermit Kingdom” to arrest Laura Ling and Euna Lee: “Unfortunately, into that mad kingdom, just ahead of the chaos, wandered @Current journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. On Tuesday, March 17th, whether by accident or the trickery of a paid-off Chinese guide, they are alleged to have stepped across an invisible border line at a bridge crossing between China and North Korea. Harsh interrogations and two and a half months of solitary confinement followed, and now, after a brief trial, an absurd sentence of 12 years of hard labor for illegally crossing the border and an unspecified “grave crime.” […]

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