US Shifts Strategy, Seeks Amnesty for Jailed Reporters

New tactic implies some offense committed against N. Korea
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 8:00 AM CDT
In these undated photos, reporters Laura Ling, right, and Euna Lee, are shown.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, File)
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(Newser) – The US is switching its strategy to get two American journalists freed from North Korea, dropping its demand for release on humanitarian grounds in favor of appealing for forgiveness, CNN reports. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday asked for “amnesty” for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, saying “everyone is very sorry” and expressing hope for the women’s immediate release.

Ling and Lee were sentenced to 12 years in prison last month on charges of illegally entering the North to conduct a smear campaign. Ling’s sister Lisa Ling said her sister flatly told her by phone, “Look, we violated North Korean law.” But one analyst told the San Francisco Chronicle, “This is North Norea, and this all could mean nothing.”