With so much attention being given to Roxana Saberi who had been held – and thankfully released in Iran – I’d glanced over reports of the two Asian-American journalists arrested in North Korea. The US media has dominated its airwaves with one load of crap after another it’s hard to distinguish what’s real anymore. So imagine my surprise when I flipped over to CNN to see Lisa Ling and her family sitting on the interviewee side of the table on Larry King. Laura Ling and Euna Lee are journalists who both work for Current TV and have been held for nearly three months.
It seems surreal due to the delicate political situation between NK and the US – like the one between Iran and the US. These situations cannot be a coincidence and it’s unfortunate that women are the ones being caught in the crossfire while powerful men battle each other indirectly through them. It’s also a flash of deja vu because Lisa Ling went to NK as seen on Oprah a little more than two years ago! That’s why this cannot be an accident, but a reckoning. The legacy of negativity the last administration left behind is still being felt today and must be accounted for.
This is also an opportunity for these nations to enter into a new era of diplomacy and have more amenable relations. I don’t know that I could ignore the undercurrent of hostility as a journalist and be sent into potentially dangerous situations for this very reason. Let’s hope that Ling and Lee are released soon. **Update: Both women have been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp!