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Laura Ling Sentenced To 12 Years In Labor Prison

Laura Ling Sentenced To 12 Years In Labor Prison

American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been sentenced to 12 years in labor prison by North Korea’s Central Court.

The Korean Central News Agency said on Monday the pair, who were working for former Vice President Al Gore‘s California-based Current TV, were convicted for the “grave crime they committed against the Korean nation and their illegal border crossing. [The court] sentenced each of them to 12 years of reform through labor.”

Laura (pictured right) is the sister of Lisa Ling (pictured left), former co-host of The View.

Lisa made public pleas for their release on Wednesday on Anderson Cooper 360: “When the girls left the United States, they never intended to cross into North Korean soil. And if they did at any point, we apologize. And we know that they are very, very sorry. And we ask that you show mercy today.”

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Photos: Steve Grayson/WireImage
Posted to: Lisa Ling

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  • WOW

    this is bad. N.Korea is crazy.

  • Paulo

    What were they doing out there?

  • lacey

    That’s horrible. My prayers go to her and her family.

  • Babette

    Holy Sh*t!!!!!! poor poor girls.
    How tragic & so cruel.
    I’m stunned.
    Let’s get President Obama to do something.
    Those labor prisons are hell on Earth. OMG
    tx, Jared for bringing the news to us.

  • becca

    this is a tragedy.

    amnesty international should get involved if they haven’t already.
    i wish there was more the US government could do.

    this highlights the everyday injustices that the innocent people of North Korea face. Now that, unfortunately, an American citizen has been unfairly, cruelly victimized by Kim Yong-il’s oppressive regime, more people will understand JUST HOW BAD it is there.

    I’ll be praying for Laura Ling and her family.

  • cute

    How sad. That is so unfair. :-(

  • meems

    They were reporting on people who defect on the border. According to the reports they might have unintentionally crossed the border. My thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families. Poor Laura has a 4 year old daughter. I hope some negotiations can be made to bring them home.

  • dontcare..

    I think they were doing a story in China, & accidentally crossed the border into North Korea. It’s cruel what they are doing to them. They are journalists. This is something they don’t deserve & I hope someone get them out, soon! All they were there for was to report on women & children fleeing North Korea to China for an uncertain life. That’s the basis of what was reported! It’s sickening.

  • dontcare..

    @meems: whoa right on target didn’t see your post before I hit submit!

  • jami

    north korea is crazy

  • jo

    that is some crazy sentence right there.. shit 12 years

  • Mike

    THIS is the harshest sentence!
    F’n sadist crazy guy.
    these 2 are lovely young ladies..hardly spies.
    I’m stunned.
    I’ll be praying for them to get out & I hope
    they make the biggesst Oscar winner film so they will benefit
    from this torture financially when they are free.
    If they survive. OMG>

  • Blech

    The world is a safer place with these two dangerous ladies locked up.

  • joanne

    If they sentence a person to something that they might have unintentionally done, i can’t even imagine what they do to their own people. Kim Jong-il is truly evil. poor citizens of N. Korea


    Pity the girls n pity the world for living in the midst of a nation called North Korea . I wonder to where mankind or womankind is heading to .

  • booboy

    Good thing we have a wuss for a president. Maybe he can talk about how peaceful North Korea is and then they will release these two.

  • jennifer

    my gosh I can’t believe this,,, god bless them and sister lisa….

  • a total fan

    12 years for illegaly crossing a border. How were they allowed to cross? Doesn’t Korea have border patrols. Someone let them cross and I am sure if they were allowed to cross maybe they thought it was ok.

  • a total fan

    My prayer to these ladies and their families.

  • eekomeeter

    This clearly illustrates N Korea’s hatred of the USA. This sentence speaks volumes. I hope something can be done to put pressure on the powers there to release these women asap. They are not criminals and shouldn’t be punished as such.

  • meems

    They were charged by the North-Korean government with illegally crossing the border, “hostile acts” and spying. The North-Korean China border is represented by the Tumen River which is narrow and the boundary can be unclear.

  • awful

    The problem is, the North Korean dictatorship doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks of it. They starve and oppress their people at will because we can’t sanction them. They don’t care. As evidenced by their recent “satellite” (nuclear weapons test) launch. The world told them NO! But they did it anyway. They don’t care. It will be a miracle if these women are released. A miracle that we all need to pray for.

  • meems

    @eekomeeter: Agreed. This in addition to their nuclear weapons testing is a giant FU!

  • mertz

    this is such bullsh*t. f*ckers like this dude need to grace us all and waste away. f f fu. i was listening to jay z and doing some work in peace when i see this shit blasting the internet. f this bull. also…the facts aren’t there. that statement for the reason they are being held was given by north korea…but who’s to say otherwise. if the women could speak/release a statement of what happened i bet this wouldn’t be the case. stupid twitches getting power and thinking they can use intimidation to get ahead. naw they had this planned and they had this planned well, and it just so happened that they got some good americans to plead their case that the dude is absolutely in the nutter.

  • Karlvn83

    Lisa Ling was the Keynote speaker today at my commencement, it’s horrible to know that just a few hours ago Lisa made us all laugh and used encouraging words to empower our graduating class. Now I can imagine her life has been flipped upside down with this heart breaking news about her sister and lee. My prayers go to the family.

  • mertz

    they weren’t spying. also if you saw the footage from what they were reporting there are men who patrol the border but it is also really easy to cross and be in north korea because the borderline is fuzzy. they weren’t spying on anyone. lol. they’re insecure because they were doing all their nuke testing and maybe these guys would have been able to reveal north korea’s hand in their actions…which i highly doubt. it’s not like the were sent on reconaissance

  • Burk

    I hope God gives patience to them and their families. Is there ever a hope for them? 12 years later they may just be forgotten even if they would survive these labor prison.

  • http://megsshop Jolie Hot Chin not

    that gov’t is insane. sick. sick. sick and evil.


    Why not trade Lisa Ling’s ‘The View’ replacement Elisabeth Hasselbeck
    with her (Ling’s) sister? Fair trade, I say. And Rosie O’Donnell for
    the other Asian. Good thing is, the two would kill each other before
    the 12 years were up.

    I’m sorry. No. That was *very* catty of me. Something you might hear
    out of the mouths of a Faux News host.

  • Phyllis

    this is an outrage!!!!!!!!! These girls are being used as pawns……. President Obama needs to get involved, and without a doubt Al Gore….. He needs to go there and speak in their behave….. Actually he should have done this already…… Al Lets see what you are made of now,,,,,,,,

  • Coco

    I’m sick to my stomach. This is so disgusting
    & spitting into the Western World’s eyes.
    Al Gore? they were working for Al Gore? wth?

  • omg

    omg that is so terrible

    we should send the military there to get them out

  • Mikhail

    ARE YOU CRAZY? What a hell are you writing here?

  • lee


    I’m so so sorry. This is an outrage for us Westerners.
    This is sadistic, cruel & provoking America.

  • You/Me

    D*mn, that is harsh! My prayers go out to these girls and their families. This could not have happened at a worse time, with relations between the U.S. and North Korea the way they are the girls were almost guaranteed to get the shaft. I hope something can be done for them. JJ I hope you let us know if there is a way we can show our support to these girls.

  • HockeyGurL

    That is just so sad, I feel for their families. Kim Jong IL is pure evil

  • me

    WTF?!!! Can they do this?! Why aren’t they being sent back to America?!

  • LuckyL

    Don’t worry, we saved the Iranian journalist.

  • jamie

    They did the same thing Lisa Ling did, they crossed the border, knowing full well they were breaking N Korean border law. Lisa, the sister of Laura did the same thing. Crossed border illegally into No Korea to do a story. Lisa did not get caught, but her sister and Luna did get caught.

    They asked for it. They are guilty

    Americans are so arrogant, you think you can break laws in other countries and get away with it.

  • denise

    The women’s Chinese tour guide warned them not to cross the border, but they did anyway. So now they will have to pay.

    The tour guide was smart, he did not cross the border with them.

  • Autumn

    Omg, I’m devasted for them. I prayed that they get their convictions overturned. That is just unfair and cruel.

  • ed

    Again, they’re just pawns. They’ll be released and, in return, we’ll start acting nice-nice for a while. That’s how they think it works: release two journalists and we turn a blind eye to all the nukes. The sad thing is, that probably IS the way it works.

  • ed

    @jamie: I think you missed the little part about being accused of spying. Or was that just another excuse to bash Americans?

  • mertz

    dude. you can’t say that unless you were there and you had footage. the border crossing looks mighty weak like anyone could walk accross there without any resistance at all.

    and i’ve been on the american tip all along, but this charge of espionage is incorrect. maybe it’s because they had cameras but that is completely unvalidated.

    and also “Why aren’t they being sent back to America?!”
    lol. because as you know north korea is not on good terms with america.

    this isn’t like the situation in iran…the iran one i figured she was going to get released because elections were coming up and akhmedinejad (s?) wouldn’t want to split his precious time dealing with the matter especially with the americans lobbying so heavily.

    north korea should allow people to witness their trials so that we know it was if anything atleast fair.

    i don’t condone breaking the law, but as this is coming from the mouth of the dumba$$ government who have been known to make many south koreans who also accidently step or cross the border disappear or disallow them the right to return home…i don’t believe anything that comes out of their mouths.

  • Truth_hurts

    You commit the crime, you pay the price. Plea all you would like. I am a true American, but we are NOT immune to crime. Crime means breaking the law.

    Look at Michael Fay back when he was a student in Singapore. He broke the law by vandalising property. Did any of the diplomatic pleas help? He still was caned, wasn’t he?

    American rule only works on American soil or wherever we have a strong presence. We can’t assume that just because they are Americans, that they are immune to what’s going on in North Korean.

    Some of you think that North Korea is crazy for this. Yes, I don’t agree with North Korea and what’s going on, but it still does not make the fact that these ladies broke the law. They lied to get into North Korea, and now they are lying to try and get out of North Korea.

    As a journalist, one needs to be fair, factual, and subjective. These ladies lied…. so not only have they lost credibility, they make us Americans look bad. Wether or not you or I agree with what is going on in North Korea, please note that the girls broke the law and are liars.

    Should we try and forget that? Of course we can try, and of course we need to do whatever we may, to get the girls home safely and quickly, but if it doesn’t work, then they have to pay the time for doing the crime.

    You think their labor sentence in North Korea will be worse than what was going on in Guantanamo Bay? At least they had a voice and tried to use it, but to no avail. What about the “muffled” voices of the Guantanamo detainees, that were never heard?

    Where’s the fairness here?

    I wish the two ladies well, and good luck, but North Korea is looking for a martyr, and the two girls are the unlucky ones. Don’t worry, for sure there will be some behind close doors bargaining and Nuclear testing will go on, and will probably get less negative pressure as a trade-off to let the girls free.

    You can blame this all on the two reporters. North Korean is gonna get something for free as they have the bargaining chips now.

    What, you think the US Government is going to enact war on North Korea? You think we will invade? You think we will do some covert military action to save the girls?

    Sorry. My heart goes to the hearts of the girls and their families, but in their stupid actions, they got caught.

    Liars who get caught will be punished.

  • rabt

    @ meems: It’s Euna Lee that has the 4 year old daughter. Laura Ling has an ulcer problem she’s able to control with medication.

    This 12 year is TOTALLY ABSURD!!

    My thoughts and prayers go to both families.

  • mertz

    they aren’t liars, and if so and you think liars should be punished, then the government of north korea and all governments in the world that lie should all be punished and held accountable by the rule of law and the citizens of that country. and when that happens pigs will be able to fly. you have to see the footage of them reporting from the border. there are many circumstances to with north korean military can say that they are within their rights to capture the two reporters, which is probably what happened, but those ladies are not spies. what they were sooo scared that these girls would uncover information that they were going to be teasting their missles and nukes. lol north korea…we knew you were going to do it, it was just a matter of when. once again reporters getting abducted/detained/killed. i wonder what this world would look like without news or information.

  • Zetaprime

    I don’t know how they could unintentionally cross the most heavily fortified border in the world. It’s not like you wouldn’t notice the multiple barbed wire fences, minefields, and guard towers. Maybe if it were the Canadian border I could see it happening. It’s comparable to crossing from West Berlin to East Berlin during the Cold War Era…It’s not something that’s at all possible to do by accident.

  • mertz

    naw man. i can’t even cross the canadian border. in some areas yeah definately because of the lack of surveillance but the situation this government is claiming is unfounded. the footage clearly shows them very close to the boarder reporting and guards walking back and forth behind them. but any person could walk onto the border or past the border and be arrested or detained. that doesn’t mean i was going to the country for some untoward purposes or anything for that matter. lol. yes it is. it is quite possible to cross the border by accident in certain areas, but that doesn’t mean that the same thing doesn’t happen to all those who have disappeared, or have not been allowed to return to south korea or have been effectively been silenced by north korea. it happens. it’s happened in the past, and it will happen in the future.

  • meems

    Of course you can cross the border by accident. If it were that heavily guarded how do you think the refugees that they were doing the story about escape?!