18 April 2009

U.S. Journalists Still Detained in North Korea

NPR ran a story two days ago on the very quiet, ongoing detention of U.S. journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, captured last month by the North Korean government. AP's Jean Lee discusses the high-stakes nature of the journalists' detention as Pyongyang looks for ways to increase leverage in global nuclear negotiations.

At 3 min, 39 seconds, the story gives a brief hint at the complex relationship between the reporters' detention, the frustrated nature of North Korea's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and the frustrated nature of U.S. diplomatic options in North Korea. Well worth a quick listen, especially in light of Iran's conviction of U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi on charges of spying. At least on the surface, the two cases present similar dynamics, though any interactions with Iran are arguably more complicated. Either way, the State Department has its hands full.