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North Korea to put American journalists on trial

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 30, 2009 03:17 PM

The latest on the two Current TV journalists being held in North Korea:

Two American journalists detained last week by North Korean soldiers are likely to become bargaining chips for North Korea in its feuds with the outside world, according to analysts and politicians in South Korea.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters working for Al Gore’s San Francisco-based Current TV, were seized at 3 a.m. March 17 after walking from China across the shallow Tumen River into North Korea, according to a report in JoongAng Ilbo, a newspaper in Seoul.

The newspaper, citing intelligence sources in the South Korean government, said the two women have been moved to Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, where they were being interrogated as possible spies…

…”They do become bargaining chips,” said Andrei Lankov, a professor of North Korean studies at Kookmin University in Seoul. The two journalists interviewed Lankov shortly before they traveled to the North Korean border.

“North Korea will send them home, but it will not happen quickly,” Lankov said. “The North Koreans want to show the world that illegally crossing their border will not be tolerated and they want to squeeze political and financial concessions from the United States.”

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