US Journalists Held in Guest House, Not Labor Camp

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2009 8:30 AM CDT
US Journalists Held in Guest House, Not Labor Camp
South Korean conservative activists march, holding photos of American journalists Euna Lee, left, and Laura Ling detained in North Korea, during a rally in Seoul, July 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – North Korea has not yet sent Lisa Ling or Euna Lee to a prison labor camp, keeping them instead in a “guest house,” according to a University of Georgia political scientist who recently visited the country. It's a sign that Pyongyang still wants to negotiate the girls' fate with the US the scholar said, predicting that North Korea would soon schedule talks.

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“I heard from North Korean officials that the American journalists were doing fine at a guest house in Pyongyang,” the scholar said. Ling and Lee, who were arrested for attempting to film a piece for Al Gore's CurrentTV, have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. Ling called her sister yesterday, and said that a government pardon was their only hope of freedom.
(Read more North Korea stories.)

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