US journalists go on trial in North Korea

The ruling is expected soon in the trial of two US journalists in North Korea.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were arrested on 17 March when filming a report about refugees on the border of China and North Korea.

It is alleged they crossed the border which snakes along the frozen Yalu River, from China into North Korea.

Reports are disparate, some claiming Lee and Ling accidentally crossed the border and others claiming guards crossed the border and arrested them on Chinese soil, objecting to being filmed. They could face a year in a labour camp.

A press release earlier today from Pyongyang stated the trial would commence at 3pm local time, however no update has been received since.

Media freedom group Reporters Without Borders came to the reporters’ defence stating that even if they did mistake the borders “they did so solely for journalistic purposes and not for political reasons or for the purposes of espionage”.

Laura Ling’s sister, Lisa, who features as a correspondent on Oprah among other mainstream American television programmes, has been acting as spokesperson for the families in the wake of their capture.

Although giving little more than thanks for support, Lisa Ling has explained that while devastated the families must keep their silence due to political schisms between the US and North Korea of late – the fissure between the two countries being stressed to breaking point with the testing of nuclear missiles capable of reaching Alaska last week.

Writing on a Facebook group of 8,000 members in support of her sister and Euna, Lisa Ling said: “The families of Laura and Euna are inexplicably touched by your support of our girls.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for us. Please understand that due to the extreme sensitivity of the case, it is vital for our families to stay quiet.”

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