Monday, June 8, 2009

North Korea Does Like North Korea Do

Oh, North Korea. Every time we think you might not be a land of starving people and the lunatics who rule them, you go and do something like this. Well, that's actually a little unfair. We've never thought you weren't a land of starving people and the lunatics who rule them. Still, you've done it again! Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two journalists working for Al Gore's Current TV cable channel were arrested in North Korea while reporting on defectors from the country who crossed the Chinese border. According to the North Korean court (staffed primarily by kangaroos, I've heard), just being in the country without permission amounts to a "grave crime", so the two American citizens have been sentenced to twelve years of "reform" in a labor camp. Obviously as their employer and a world-renowned figure of some importance, Al Gore has been tirelessly negotiating for their release. What's that you say? He hasn't said a word? And no one at Current TV is allowed to discuss this issue at all? Hm. Seems awfully dickish. Still, the U.S. government is on the case! And by "on the case", I mean they're talking about maybe sending former New Mexico governor and UN ambassador Bill Richardson to negotiate. Or maybe Al Gore. You know, if his schedule allows. Richardson has experience negotiating with the North Koreans, and he's hopeful these poor women will be released. According to him, the North Korean government likes to flex its muscle by completing a trial before talking about releasing prisoners, so that's why there's been a delay in talks. Makes sense, I suppose, but I wonder why we're even in a position to wait until these insane people are willing to speak to us. Hold on, they have a WHATlear weapon?? Well, shit. More details here.