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SteelersMongol
06-08-2009, 09:00 AM
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea convicted two American journalists and sentenced them Monday to 12 years of hard labor for crossing into its territory, intensifying the reclusive nation's confrontation with the United States.

The Obama administration said it would pursue "all possible channels" to win the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV media venture.

There are fears Pyongyang is using the women as bargaining chips as the U.N. debates a new resolution to punish the country for its defiant May 25 atomic test and as North Korea seeks to draw Washington into direct negotiations.

Washington's former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson called the sentencing part of "a high-stakes poker game" being played by North Korea. He said on NBC's Today show that he thinks negotiations for their "humanitarian release" can begin now that the legal process has been completed. Other South Korean analysts also said they expect the two to be freed following negotiations.

The journalists were found guilty of committing a "grave crime" against North Korea and of illegally entering the country, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korean guards arrested Ling and Lee near the China-North Korean border on March 17. The two were reporting about the trafficking of North Korean women at the time of their arrest, and it's unclear if they strayed into the North or were grabbed by aggressive border guards who crossed into China. A cameraman and their local guide escaped.

The Central Court in Pyongyang sentenced each to 12 years of "reform through labor" in a North Korean prison after a five-day trial, KCNA said in a terse, two-line report that provided no further details. A Korean-language version said they were convicted of "hostility toward the Korean people."

The ruling — nearly three months after their arrest on March 17 — comes amid soaring tensions fueled by North Korea's nuclear test last month and signs it is preparing for a long-range missile test. On Monday, North Korea warned fishing boats to stay away from the east coast, Japan's coast guard said, raising concerns more missile tests are being planned.

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama used strong language on North Korea's nuclear stance and said his administration did not intend "to continue a policy of rewarding provocation."

Verdicts issued by North Korea's highest court are final and cannot be appealed, said Choi Eun-suk, a North Korean law expert at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at South Korea's Kyungnam University. He said North Korea's penal code calls for transferring them to prison within 10 days.

The United States, which does not have diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, was "deeply concerned" about the reported verdict, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in Washington. He said officials would "engage in all possible channels" to win the reporters' release.

At the White House on Monday, deputy spokesman William Burton said in a statement: "The president is 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."

The families of Lee, 36, and Ling, 32 had no immediate comment, spokeswoman Alanna Zahn said from New York. Gore also had no comment, spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said.

Lee is Korean-American and speaks Korean, but it is not clear how well. She lives in California with her husband and 4-year-old daughter Hannah. Ling is Chinese-American and a native of California. Her sister is National Geographic "Explorer" TV journalist Lisa Ling.

Kim Yong-hyun, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, said the 12-year sentence — the maximum allowed under North Korean law — may have been a reaction to recent "hard-line" threats by the U.S., including possible sanctions and putting North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

But he predicted the journalists' eventual release following diplomatic negotiations.

"The sentence doesn't mean much because the issue will be resolved diplomatically in the end," Kim said.

Just weeks after arresting the women, North Korea launched a multistage rocket over Japan in defiance of international calls for restraint. The U.S. and others called the launch a cover for a long-range missile test, and the U.N. Security Council condemned the move.

The U.N. censure enraged Pyongyang. North Korea abandoned nuclear disarmament talks, threatened to restart its atomic program and vowed to conduct nuclear and long-range missile tests if the Security Council failed to apologize.

The North followed through with its threat and staged its second-ever underground nuclear test. U.S. officials say the North appears to be preparing another long-range missile test at a west coast launch pad.

Some analysts called the arrest of the Americans a timely "bonanza" for Pyongyang as the impoverished regime prepares to negotiate for aid and other concessions to resolve the tense standoff over its nuclear defiance.

"North Korea refused to release them ahead of a court ruling because such a move could be seen as capitulating to the United States," said Hajime Izumi, professor of international relations and an expert on North Korea at the University of Shizuoka in Japan.

But now, "North Korea may release them on humanitarian grounds and demand the U.S. provide humanitarian aid in return," he said. "North Korea will certainly use the reporters as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the United States."

Their release could come through a post-negotiation political pardon, said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies.

The sentence is "a terrible shock for all those who have repeatedly insisted on their innocence," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement, noting that North Korea is ranked as Asia's worst country for press freedom.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists urged South Korea, Japan, Russia and the U.S., the five countries involved in the stalled disarmament talks with North Korea, to work for the journalists' release."

The sentencing comes a month after Iran released Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who had been sentenced to eight years in prison for on a charge of spying for the United States. An appeals court reduced that to a two-year suspended sentence and she was freed May 11.

Little is known about prison conditions in North Korea. But Rev. Chun Ki-won, a South Korean missionary who helped arrange the journalists' trip to China, said inmates in North Korean labor camps frequently face beatings and other inhumane treatment while being forced to engage in harsh labor such as logging and construction work.

Chun, however, predicted the North would send the journalists to a labor camp.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090608/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_journalists_held

What do U guys think? Would should they do 2 have the North release them?

revefsreleets
06-08-2009, 09:19 AM
North Korea is winning this "war of wills" IMO. We are paralyzed by the inability to think in any terms outside of diplomatic solutions.

KeiselPower99
06-08-2009, 09:35 AM
I guess Obama could tell their President he is sorry for any and everything America has done to N Korea. Aint their President the guy I saw online eating fish heads?

Dino 6 Rings
06-08-2009, 09:46 AM
Ok, not for nothing but I tend to put this in the same category as the people who go swimming with sharks and get bit or go hiking in the junble and get eaten by tigers.

Its Fcking North Korea! What part of North Korea did you not understand? That if you are not from North Korea and in love with Dear Leader you are considered an enemy of the state? Fact, everyone knows you don't Visit North Korea. Everyone Knows you don't try to report on the atrocities of North Korea without risking your own life. Sorry but as far as I'm concerned they were handling rattle snakes and got bit.

Dino 6 Rings
06-08-2009, 09:51 AM
I mean really, would anyone feel sorry for me if I was investigating head hunters in the Amazon and suddenly....disappeared?

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
06-08-2009, 10:20 AM
Maybe if Osama Obama bends over like he did to the Saudi King then they will let those two women go.... :chuckle:

Fire Haley
06-08-2009, 11:09 AM
N. Korea labor camp = death sentence.

That's what I think.

Obama can't be bothered, send in the negotiators - send in Hillary.

SteelCityMan786
06-08-2009, 11:20 AM
If this were under Bush, Military force wouldn't be too far from being used.

Dino 6 Rings
06-08-2009, 11:25 AM
If this were under Bush, Military force wouldn't be too far from being used.

If this was Under Bush they wouldn't have been arrested by the North Korean's in the first place. They would have been handed back over to the Chinese and then China would have shipped them home with the understanding, they weren't to return.

But when you have a College Professor in charge of the world's greatest military instead of a true leader, this is the type of crap that other nations try to pull.

MACH1
06-08-2009, 11:37 AM
bu bu but bush......

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 11:51 AM
Buuu bush.....Chi Chi china..... we cant do anything as long as china is backing north korea.....
But I say a few special force units to go in and kill little kim

MACH1
06-08-2009, 11:53 AM
Buuu bush.....Chi Chi china..... we cant do anything as long as china is backing north korea.....
But I say a few special force units to go in and kill little kim

Nobaaama doesn't have the spine.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 11:55 AM
So u feel we should go to war with North Korea.....although its around the same size as mississippi..... if china backs them then what?

not to mention that N. Korea has one of the largest armies in the world... and is ruled by crazy ass little kim

MACH1
06-08-2009, 12:01 PM
So u feel we should go to war with North Korea.....although its around the same size as mississippi..... if china backs them then what?

not to mention that N. Korea has one of the largest armies in the world... and are ruled by crazy ass little kim

Nooo, Nobaaama doesn't have the spine to send in any special ops.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 12:06 PM
Nooo, Nobaaama doesn't have the spine to send in any special ops.

Well... only time will tell.... at least bush will not be able to get us into another misinformed war......:drink:

Dino 6 Rings
06-08-2009, 12:12 PM
Well... only time will tell.... at least bush will not be able to get us into another misinformed war......:drink:

Oh, Like Clinton did in Bosnia?

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 12:15 PM
Oh, Like Clinton did in Bosnia?

Bosnia? You are going to compare Bosnia to the Iraq war? :rofl:

xfl2001fan
06-08-2009, 12:24 PM
So u feel we should go to war with North Korea.....although its around the same size as mississippi..... if china backs them then what?

not to mention that N. Korea has one of the largest armies in the world... and is ruled by crazy ass little kim

Good thoughts. Let's just back down and let them know that their crazy ass leader and their "Mississippi-Sized" country scares us and that we won't retaliate in any way.

That'll show 'em.

[/sarcasm]

fansince'76
06-08-2009, 12:33 PM
Bosnia? You are going to compare Bosnia to the Iraq war? :rofl:

Not at all. This country actually had national interests at stake in Iraq. We had NO business being in Bosnia whatsoever. :coffee:

SteelersinCA
06-08-2009, 12:36 PM
Assassinating world leaders is better than war? Ok.

revefsreleets
06-08-2009, 01:09 PM
China can't go to war with us. Their entire economy is dependent upon Americans buying their cheap shit chotchkies at Wal-Mart...

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 03:52 PM
China can't go to war with us. Their entire economy is dependent upon Americans buying their cheap shit chotchkies at Wal-Mart...

Maybe its time as Americans that we all stop buing this cheap shit from other countries and try to buy american made products only....

Dino 6 Rings
06-08-2009, 04:02 PM
Maybe its time as Americans that we all stop buing this cheap shit from other countries and try to buy american made products only....

Sure thing...except my TV, sorry, but in my experience, the Japs still make the best TVs on the market. Sony Rocks. I did however buy an XBox 360, but I think it was made in China...

Hey, pretty sure I did this once before, lets see...where was my shirt made...Taiwan!

Shoes...made in China!

wedding ring, custom made in the good ole USA.

Coffee mug, China!

Lets see I drive a Chevy and own a Ford Van too, so that's USA right there. Um, what else?

In order to Buy American Products, the American Companies must be allowed to make the products on our Soil without having to face heavy taxes and outrageous environmental standards that force them to move their operations over seas or to countries that don't have any standards at all.

Companies aren't in the business of Nation Building, they are in it to make money, and if India is going to allow a company that makes T-shirts to have 1/4 the over head at 10 times the profit, guess what, India, here we come.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 04:07 PM
there was a documentry on buyig american.. cant think of the name.... but anyway a family did it for an entire year.... ended up spending a shiiiitttt load of money doing so and had a real hard time while shopping...
(i did not see the film only heard about it)

Fire Haley
06-08-2009, 04:10 PM
I think we should make a hostage exchange - the two girls for Al Gore.

TheWarDen86
06-08-2009, 04:12 PM
At first I was pissed too, then I realized that these journalists know full and well what they get themselves into when they push their limits. Now they're supposed to be these innocent victims? Now I suppose they want our troops to rescue them.
Sorry, but I don't feel bad for them. The same way I wouldn't have felt bad if the SEALs would have shot the crew filming thier midnight landing on the beaches during the first Gulf War.
You made your bed, now lay in it. Should we invade North Korea and are able to free you at that point, good. If not, hopefully you beefed up your idiot insurance and get a good settlement in 12 years. 12 years at hard labor means you'll be in fantastic shape as well. Good luck.

Godfather
06-08-2009, 06:03 PM
This thread is full of weapons-grade stupid.

All of you who are using this to make political hay against Obama need to get a clue. You really want us to invade North Korea over this??

And as far as the "nobody's afraid of Obama", then how do you explain Iran letting the American journalist go home?

TheWarDen86
06-08-2009, 07:00 PM
This thread is full of weapons-grade stupid.

All of you who are using this to make political hay against Obama need to get a clue. You really want us to invade North Korea over this??

And as far as the "nobody's afraid of Obama", then how do you explain Iran letting the American journalist go home?

Also, even though I didn't vote for the man, he DID send the Marines back into Afghanistan to finish the job. For that he gets a :drink:

I don't anticipate too many of those over the next 3 years, 5 months and 22 days though. :chuckle:

Godfather
06-08-2009, 07:08 PM
Also, even though I didn't vote for the man, he DID send the Marines back into Afghanistan to finish the job. For that he gets a :drink:


I didn't vote for Obama either. I voted for McCain--and by that I mean for him and Palin, not against Obama or for the lesser of two evils.

And since I take McCain's slogan--Country First--to heart, I get irked by people who look for every opportunity to jump on Obama, to the point that they'll move the goalposts so he's always wrong. Kind of like I didn't care for the "Bush lied and soldiers died" people even though I didn't vote for Bush.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-08-2009, 08:12 PM
This thread is full of weapons-grade stupid.

All of you who are using this to make political hay against Obama need to get a clue. You really want us to invade North Korea over this??

And as far as the "nobody's afraid of Obama", then how do you explain Iran letting the American journalist go home?

They shy away and ignore the positive things about obama... and pretty much ride what rush says on his talk radio

TheWarDen86
06-08-2009, 08:18 PM
I'm more concerned about what obama is going to do about NK and it's determination to move forward with their nuclear program then what he's going to do about these two reporters.

Ditto.

SteelersinCA
06-08-2009, 11:08 PM
Lets see I drive a Chevy and own a Ford Van too, so that's USA right there. Um, what else?



I could be wrong but I think I heard somewhere that more of a Honda is made in America than a GM car.

Godfather
06-09-2009, 04:58 AM
They shy away and ignore the positive things about obama... and pretty much ride what rush says on his talk radio

Jon Stewart busted Hannity last night for something along those lines. Hannity played a very short clip from Obama's speech in Cairo and spewed outrage about how Obama was blaming America for 9/11.

Then Jon Stewart showed the same tape but let it run for about 10 seconds longer. Turns out Obama was doing exactly the opposite.

revefsreleets
06-09-2009, 09:04 AM
Look elsewhere if you're going to try to lump me in with the dittoheads...I gave Obama credit for his speeches in the Middle East. I give him a lot of credit for sacking up and adopting Bush myriad policies, ostensibly because now he's actually in office and has a clue, he can see that Bush was much more right than wrong.

Obama is a "diplomacy at any cost" type of guy. He had zero choice in Afghanistan, or else he would have exercised other options.

NK is a serious, serious threat. Talk alone will not work with them. There will need to be at the bare minimum a steep increase in sanctions, and at maximum some military posturing by the US along with some key allies. We aren't going to war with NK, and China will eventually fall in line because that's where their interests actually lie. But we need bolder action than just some rhetoric right now...and Obama is under-delivering.

Godfather
06-09-2009, 10:15 AM
He had zero choice in Afghanistan, or else he would have exercised other options.

That's the way it should be. War should be a last resort.

NK is a serious, serious threat. Talk alone will not work with them. There will need to be at the bare minimum a steep increase in sanctions, and at maximum some military posturing by the US along with some key allies. We aren't going to war with NK, and China will eventually fall in line because that's where their interests actually lie. But we need bolder action than just some rhetoric right now...and Obama is under-delivering.

Bush didn't take tough action against NK either. Given that he was Mr. Unilateral/Cowboy Diplomacy (for better or worse), that tells me the NK probrem isn't that simple.

revefsreleets
06-09-2009, 10:21 AM
NK backed down under Bush. They've had enough weapons grade plutonium to build a bomb since 1992. It's no coincident that they tested one under Obama. This test also coincided with a missle test. The implications are quite clear.

Clinton took a hard line with the N. Koreans too.

The expression is, "walk tall, but carry a big stick"...NOT a big bullhorn.

I'm not sure what they argument even is here? Obama was elected on a platform of diplomacy first. This is simply reaping what we've sown...

Dino 6 Rings
06-09-2009, 11:49 AM
North Korea would use nuclear weapons in a 'merciless offensive'

Associated Press


Tuesday, 9 June 2009


North Korea today said it would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive" if provoked — its latest bellicose rhetoric apparently aimed at deterring any international punishment for its recent atomic test blast.

The tensions emanating from Pyongyang are beginning to hit nascent business ties with the South: a Seoul-based fur manufacturer became the first South Korean company to announce Monday it was pulling out of an industrial complex in the North's border town of Kaesong.

The complex, which opened in 2004, is a key symbol of rapprochement between the two Koreas but the goodwill is evaporating quickly in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test on May 25 and subsequent missile tests.

Pyongyang raised tensions a notch by reviving its rhetoric in a commentary in the state-run Minju Joson newspaper today.

"Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means...as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country's dignity and sovereignty even a bit," said the commentary, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-would-use-nuclear-weapons-in-a-merciless-offensive-1700590.html

Wonder what Hillary or Biden or the Amateur in Charge are going to do about that threat?

Fire Haley
06-09-2009, 11:59 AM
I'm sure the UN will be right on this with another memo.

revefsreleets
06-09-2009, 02:07 PM
That's the way it should be. War should be a last resort.

Bush didn't take tough action against NK either. Given that he was Mr. Unilateral/Cowboy Diplomacy (for better or worse), that tells me the NK probrem isn't that simple.

War as the last resort is Utopian thinking. We'd have NEVER entered WWI under that philosophy, and would probably have waited until '43 to enter WWII. It's not a perfect world...

As for Bush, his stance on NK was pretty strong until the end of his administration...only then did he start capitulating. Then again, if you blindly hate Bush, you'll hate his whole policy, and I can't help you with that...

BUT I can add that it certainly looked like Obama hated all Bush's policies...that is until he actually took over his job.

Fire Haley
06-09-2009, 02:18 PM
I don't give a crap about N.Korea.

It's them damn Saudi's that are screwing with my life.

I say we go over there and take all the damn oil for ourselves, push them all off into the gulf.

We have the world's strongest military, it's about time we started acting like it. Who's gonna stop us?

Give me the keys to the country and I'll make you all the richest bastards on the planet. Who's with me?

Dino 6 Rings
06-09-2009, 02:24 PM
I don't give a crap about N.Korea.

It's them damn Saudi's that are screwing with my life.

I say we go over there and take all the damn oil for ourselves, push them all off into the gulf.

We have the world's strongest military, it's about time we started acting like it. Who's gonna stop us?

Give me the keys to the country and I'll make you all the richest bastards on the planet. Who's with me?


Do you promise to build Super Star Destroyers with al lthe money? If so, I'm in.

Godfather
06-09-2009, 02:32 PM
War as the last resort is Utopian thinking. We'd have NEVER entered WWI under that philosophy, and would probably have waited until '43 to enter WWII. It's not a perfect world...

As for Bush, his stance on NK was pretty strong until the end of his administration...only then did he start capitulating. Then again, if you blindly hate Bush, you'll hate his whole policy, and I can't help you with that...

BUT I can add that it certainly looked like Obama hated all Bush's policies...that is until he actually took over his job.

Disagree that we would have waited until 1943 to enter WW2. We entered the war when we were attacked.

I have no beef with Bush on NK. My point was that he didn't bring down the hammer on them and since he wasn't opposed to bring down the hammer, there must be a good reason not to do it.

Oh, and I don't lump you in with the dittoheads. You fit more into being glad Obama's doing the right thing, and you like to taunt the Kool-Aid drinkers about it :drink:

revefsreleets
06-09-2009, 03:20 PM
I'm not so sure...Obama would have pursued every diplomatic channel to avoid conflict, and probably would have issued a very strongly worded rebuke of the Japanese government. Trade embargoes would have ensued. Japan would have been censured by the League of Nations.

Fire Haley
06-09-2009, 04:01 PM
Do you promise to build Super Star Destroyers with al lthe money? If so, I'm in.

Copy that Blue Leader - we need to spread our seed to the stars and teach anybody in our way who's boss.

I got a shotgun, a rifle, a 4 wheel drive, a country boy will survive.

Dino 6 Rings
06-09-2009, 10:28 PM
Cool. just be sure its the Big Imperial Versions, not those woosy Republic ones.

Super Star Destroyer. Yeah...about 30 of them to start. I'm all about taking the Saudi Oil to build those! When do we start?

JEFF4i
06-09-2009, 10:32 PM
Interdictors so the slimey terrorists can't hit and run.

Preacher
06-09-2009, 10:53 PM
Well, back on subject. . .

Sorry, the journalists knew the stakes when they started.

Amazing how people forget that "freedom of the press" isn't world wide. Its an American freedom.

You violate another nation's laws, you pay the price.

And yes, I put my money where my mouth is on that one as I sat a few hours in a Turkish police station for handing out bibles.

Funny thing, it isn't even illegal. We followed the letter of the law. Yet it doesn't matter. When you're not in America, don't expect to be able to act with the freedoms of America without consequences.

tony hipchest
06-09-2009, 11:21 PM
Midnight Express II

-staring Preacher and Fae Dunaway

Coming Soon to a theater near you.

:chuckle:

GBMelBlount
06-10-2009, 06:12 AM
Well... only time will tell.... at least bush will not be able to get us into another misinformed war......:drink:

Most 8 year old girls in public schools would agree with you Willie. It's great to be in the majority, isn't it. :chuckle:

Fire Haley
06-11-2009, 03:19 PM
Well, back on subject. . .



Are you calling me a hijacker? a pirate?

I should feel offended.

TheWarDen86
06-11-2009, 04:59 PM
Well... only time will tell.... at least bush will not be able to get us into another misinformed war......:drink:

I can't disagree that it was "misinformed." Not sure if they really believed that there were WMD's in Iraq or not. Don't care either. In hindsight, I just wish G.W. came right out and said, "We're going in there to oust this murderous dicatator and that's all there is to it. End of story. Don't like it? Tough sh*t."

Whether you like it or not, we did a good thing not only for the Iraqi people, but for the world when we toppled Saddam's regime.

revefsreleets
06-11-2009, 07:03 PM
Should have never left after Iraq I. THAT was big mistake...

TheWarDen86
06-11-2009, 07:22 PM
Should have never left after Iraq I. THAT was big mistake...

What do mean left? Like the down sizing now? If that is what you're saying then I agree, but my concern is that we pull out too soon. I'd hate for all the fighting and dying to have been in vain.

revefsreleets
06-11-2009, 07:33 PM
I'm saying in Iraq I we should have pushed into Baghdad and toppled Saddam's regime when we had all the support of the World. Hussein was a douche and his number was up, and we let him slide.

True, that wasn't part of the mission parameters, but battle is a fluid thing, and plans change constantly. We could have. We should have. We did not.

A lot of blood has spilled since that probably could have been avoided...

TheWarDen86
06-11-2009, 07:53 PM
I'm saying in Iraq I we should have pushed into Baghdad and toppled Saddam's regime when we had all the support of the World. Hussein was a douche and his number was up, and we let him slide.

True, that wasn't part of the mission parameters, but battle is a fluid thing, and plans change constantly. We could have. We should have. We did not.

A lot of blood has spilled since that probably could have been avoided...

Yep. We screwed the Iraqi's the first time.

xfl2001fan
06-11-2009, 08:20 PM
I'm saying in Iraq I we should have pushed into Baghdad and toppled Saddam's regime when we had all the support of the World. Hussein was a douche and his number was up, and we let him slide.

True, that wasn't part of the mission parameters, but battle is a fluid thing, and plans change constantly. We could have. We should have. We did not.

A lot of blood has spilled since that probably could have been avoided...

Blaming Bush? I thought you were against that agenda? :P

Actually, I agree with you here. The "good guys" have grown a lot softer in the last decade and a half...and the bad guys have grown harder, smarter and more daring. Bad combination.