US 'deeply concerned'

2009-06-08 09:36

Washington - The United States is "deeply concerned" by North Korea's sentencing of two American journalists to 12 years in a labour camp, State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly said on Monday.

"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," Kelly said in a statement.

A North Korean court on Monday sentenced two female US journalists to 12 years in a labour camp for an illegal border crossing and an unspecified "grave crime", North Korean state media reported.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained by North Korean border guards on March 17 along the frozen Tumen River, which marks the border with China, while researching a story about refugees fleeing the hardline communist state.

"Our thoughts are with the families of the two detained journalists at this difficult time," Kelly said.

"We once again urge North Korea to grant the immediate release of the two American citizen journalists on humanitarian grounds."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday the charges against the pair were baseless and they should be allowed to return home.

Pyongyang has in the past freed captured Americans but only after personal interventions. The US State Department last week did not rule out the possibility that former vice president Al Gore might undertake such a mission.

Gore is chairperson of the California station Current TV, which employs the two journalists, both aged in their 30s.

Both detainees are married and Lee has a four-year-old daughter.

Read more on:    us state department  |  al gore  |  hillary clinton  |  china  |  washington  |  north korea  |  sentencing
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to idealise and prepare for the future rather than face the present. Right now life is putting challenges in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.