Help Release Laura Ling and Euna Lee

On Tuesday, we heard from T. Kumar about what U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee face in their 12 year sentence in a North Korean labor camp. They got the maximum sentence of 10 years of hard labor for hostile acts and an additional two years for illegal entry, according to analysts. But exactly what hostile acts they committed remains unclear.

The two women, both of whom were investigating human rights abuses of North Korean women for the California-based Current TV media venture in San Francisco, were arrested on March 17 near North Korea’s border with China. They were held separately and in solitary confinement with limited access to either lawyers or their families. Their trial lasted five days in Pyongyang’s Central Court, the top court in North Korea. Outside observers were not permitted.

“The North Korean government seems to be using these two journalists as pawns in its dangerous game of escalating tensions with the international community,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, in a statement. “This sentence was harsher than many observers expected, and completely out of line with any of the accusations that Pyongyang has levelled against them.” But this shouldn’t betoo surprising — the 2009 Freedom of the Press Index, published by Freedom House on May 1, gave North Korea the worst rating. North Korea acquired this rating because “independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the regime, and citizens’ access to unbiased information is severely limited.” And appropriately, or perhaps ironically, their sentencing came just four days after the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Crackdown, an event journalists are still imprisoned for mentioning.

Take action now to help release Laura Ling and Euna Lee!

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53 thoughts on “Help Release Laura Ling and Euna Lee

  1. While this is an admirable cause, it is worth noting that this particular story only became a rallying cry due to the fact that Americans are involved. Thousands of North Koreans have been suffering the same injustices for decades now, and while Amnesty has surely stood opposed to such activities, I just feel its worth noting that it takes the suffering of affluent westerners to make such a critical headline that could draw attention and funds.

    This isn't a new or shocking development. North Korea has been a human rights pariah for a long time. Yes, the path to making progress there seems almost hopeless sometimes, but I'm actually DIScouraged, rather than encouraged by the fact that liberal pro-amnesty organizations such as this can only rally support when Westerners are submitted to this environment. Where is the support for the the thousands of innocent Koreans who are put into these same prison camps and suffer some of the most horrific treatment in human history?

    I'm not placing blame on Amnesty, Int. I support their mission whole-heartedly and I understand their financial motivations for playing up this current event, but there's a critical disparity in this scenario which is sad.

  2. Hate to go against you on this one Amnesty but if these reporters are willing to break the North Korean laws by entering the country illegally, then they should have to pay the price established by the country in question. Just because they happen to be US journalists doesn't mean they should be let off the hook. I wish them luck.

  3. Of course when one of our own gets in trouble, that is when we look harder. Such is life. Like Lance Armstrong. He did not start a cancer research organization until he had cancer. Are we to discredit him for that, or has all the good that have followed, raise the bar of how we continue to look closer.

    The bottom line is the world has no room for North Korea,PERIOD! Nor for any nations that oppress. Regardless of how or why focus is brought about, the importance is that we build this focus into a positive reality.

    We need an order for this world, if we are ever going to achieve world peace. And the fact of this matter is that we, as a world, can not let this happen to folks, especially reporters. They serve us with information we need to move forward with the world.

    Look at it like this, at this moment, the world is focusing on North Korea's actions against these individuals, and as we focus, we are gaining information and knowledge. The reporters are still reporting, only silently and in a cage.

  4. R. McCluskey, I agree, it's unfortunate more cases of less-well-known people are not highlighted more. I asked my colleagues about this, and it seems that one of the biggest challenges we and other human rights organizations have in our work on North Korea is getting reliable information. So one reason to highlight this case is because we do actually have some information, and many of the issues brought out by the case (freedom of expression, prison conditions, etc.) are emblematic of systemic problems in North Korea.

    Erik Weick, I hear what you're saying, but even if it were absolutely proven that they intentionally entered North Korea illegally, that would only be a two-year sentence. The additional ten years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" is problematic if we are not able to find out more about just what these acts might have been. I am under no illusions that all journalists (or all Americans) are saints, but everyone has a right to a fair and transparent trial, and a right to be free of inhuman treatment.

    Since this case has given us all a chance to highlight the human rights problems in North Korea, I recommend everyone to read (and share with others!) Amnesty's country report on North Korea: http://thereport.amnesty.org/en/regions/asia-paci

  5. While this is an admirable cause, it is worth noting that this particular story only became a rallying cry due to the fact that Americans are involved. Thousands of North Koreans have been suffering the same injustices for decades now, and while Amnesty has surely stood opposed to such activities, I just feel its worth noting that it takes the suffering of affluent westerners to make such a critical headline that could draw attention and funds.

    This isn’t a new or shocking development. North Korea has been a human rights pariah for a long time. Yes, the path to making progress there seems almost hopeless sometimes, but I’m actually DIScouraged, rather than encouraged by the fact that liberal pro-amnesty organizations such as this can only rally support when Westerners are submitted to this environment. Where is the support for the the thousands of innocent Koreans who are put into these same prison camps and suffer some of the most horrific treatment in human history?

    I’m not placing blame on Amnesty, Int. I support their mission whole-heartedly and I understand their financial motivations for playing up this current event, but there’s a critical disparity in this scenario which is sad.

  6. This action is perhaps misdirected and distracts from Amnesty's more vital efforts. What were these inexperienced female reporters doing on such a hazardous border, and how could they be arrested by the North Koreans? Why doesn't the US media or Amnesty get a proper statement from their colleague / producer, Mitchell 'Mitch' Koss, who was with them on the border but evaded capture, was held for a few days by China, and is now back in the USA. Perhaps this is a chance to demonize North Korea, but with a dubious fishy story…

  7. R. McCluskey, I agree, it's unfortunate more cases of less-well-known people are not highlighted more. I asked my colleagues about this, and it seems that one of the biggest challenges we and other human rights organizations have in our work on North Korea is getting reliable information. So one reason to highlight this case is because we do actually have some information, and many of the issues brought out by the case (freedom of expression, prison conditions, etc.) are emblematic of systemic problems in North Korea.

    Erik Weick, I hear what you're saying, but even if it were absolutely proven that they intentionally entered North Korea illegally, that would only be a two-year sentence. The additional ten years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" is problematic if we are not able to find out more about just what these acts might have been. I am under no illusions that all journalists (or all Americans) are saints, but everyone has a right to a fair and transparent trial, and a right to be free of inhuman treatment.

    Since this case has given us all a chance to highlight the human rights problems in North Korea, I recommend everyone to read (and share with others!) Amnesty's country report on North Korea: http://thereport.amnesty.org/en/regions/asia-paci

  8. R. McCluskey, I agree, it's unfortunate more cases of less-well-known people are not highlighted more. I asked my colleagues about this, and it seems that one of the biggest challenges we and other human rights organizations have in our work on North Korea is getting reliable information. So one reason to highlight this case is because we do actually have some information, and many of the issues brought out by the case (freedom of expression, prison conditions, etc.) are emblematic of systemic problems in North Korea.

    Erik Weick, I hear what you're saying, but even if it were absolutely proven that they intentionally entered North Korea illegally, that would only be a two-year sentence. The additional ten years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" is problematic if we are not able to find out more about just what these acts might have been. I am under no illusions that all journalists (or all Americans) are saints, but everyone has a right to a fair and transparent trial, and a right to be free of inhuman treatment.

    Since this case has given us all a chance to highlight the human rights problems in North Korea, I recommend everyone to read (and share with others!) Amnesty's country report on North Korea: http://thereport.amnesty.org/en/regions/asia-paci

  9. The North Koreans are clearly using them as a statement to the rest of us that they will not tolerate foreigners doing as they please on their soil. Bryna, I do not applaud what the Koreans have done but at the same I do not believe journalists, or anyone for that matter should be above the law of their host nation. Would it be easier to simply deport them and let them off with a slap on the hand? Of course… but that happens in Switzerland (maybe), not when you're trying to get a story in a totalitarian state like North Korea. I believe anyone knows that, and you don't even have to be a seasoned journalist!

  10. Hate to go against you on this one Amnesty but if these reporters are willing to break the North Korean laws by entering the country illegally, then they should have to pay the price established by the country in question. Just because they happen to be US journalists doesn’t mean they should be let off the hook. I wish them luck.

  11. US is the one who causes the Koreans to be sanctions and not freely develop
    the same as it does to all poorer nations ,…keeping them down till it can invade and figure out how to make the best use of them.

    Whatever the Americans were doing in ROK to begin with , surprisingly the fake human rights group Amnesty, doesnt say. but went on to tell us what color the pirson guard is poosing.

    Every prisoner –that Amnesty wants – should be set free…just because.

    Please dont insult the intelligence of People more than America already has.

    No laws / no jails
    =

  12. Of course when one of our own gets in trouble, that is when we look harder. Such is life. Like Lance Armstrong. He did not start a cancer research organization until he had cancer. Are we to discredit him for that, or has all the good that have followed, raise the bar of how we continue to look closer.

    The bottom line is the world has no room for North Korea,PERIOD! Nor for any nations that oppress. Regardless of how or why focus is brought about, the importance is that we build this focus into a positive reality.

    We need an order for this world, if we are ever going to achieve world peace. And the fact of this matter is that we, as a world, can not let this happen to folks, especially reporters. They serve us with information we need to move forward with the world.

    Look at it like this, at this moment, the world is focusing on North Korea’s actions against these individuals, and as we focus, we are gaining information and knowledge. The reporters are still reporting, only silently and in a cage.

  13. Joann, very correct, it's the U.S. which blockades North Korea with sanctions & doesn't let her develop freely. How right you are to point out this fundamental truth !!

    i disagree with Amnesty's position that the N. Koreans are in "a dangerous game of escalating tensions with the international community." It's the U.S. which ganged up with S. Korea in a military alliance & begun war games, escalating the tensions. America has a vast array of nuclear weapons, yet how disgusting it is to hear U.S. journalists' howls of outrage at N.Korea's one "puny" nuclear test . Nor do i like Amnesty's easy use of language which shakes an outraged head at a lone, cornered country while sucking up to the U.S. bullies by dignifying them & their allies with the name of " internationqal community". Amnesty's treatment of nations is not as fair & evenhanded as it imagines or shows itself to be.

    At the same time, Joann, Amnesty isn't a"fake rights group" — it does a lot of very good work & points out abuses by everybody on every side.

    Some commentators here accuse thge women journalists of being where they shouldn't have been & of crossing the border. Journalists are supposed to be everywhere — every single where !!! And no border is sacred unless we're talking of invasion.

    And Ken Lee, we don't clean "our own house first before condemning others." That's an excuse of despots. Everything is interconnected. There's no 'our" house, "their" house where freedom & dignity's involved. The struggle is together. And all are my relatives.

  14. what was laura ling doing over there if she had a 4 year old?
    mother of the year award…
    ridiculous
    nevertheless…free her and her partner…but these women should really think about what they are doing and where they are going if they are going to have children… geezzzzzzzzzz

  15. This action is perhaps misdirected and distracts from Amnesty’s more vital efforts. What were these inexperienced female reporters doing on such a hazardous border, and how could they be arrested by the North Koreans? Why doesn’t the US media or Amnesty get a proper statement from their colleague / producer, Mitchell ‘Mitch’ Koss, who was with them on the border but evaded capture, was held for a few days by China, and is now back in the USA. Perhaps this is a chance to demonize North Korea, but with a dubious fishy story…

  16. R. McCluskey, I agree, it’s unfortunate more cases of less-well-known people are not highlighted more. I asked my colleagues about this, and it seems that one of the biggest challenges we and other human rights organizations have in our work on North Korea is getting reliable information. So one reason to highlight this case is because we do actually have some information, and many of the issues brought out by the case (freedom of expression, prison conditions, etc.) are emblematic of systemic problems in North Korea.

    Erik Weick, I hear what you’re saying, but even if it were absolutely proven that they intentionally entered North Korea illegally, that would only be a two-year sentence. The additional ten years of hard labor for unspecified “hostile acts” is problematic if we are not able to find out more about just what these acts might have been. I am under no illusions that all journalists (or all Americans) are saints, but everyone has a right to a fair and transparent trial, and a right to be free of inhuman treatment.

    Since this case has given us all a chance to highlight the human rights problems in North Korea, I recommend everyone to read (and share with others!) Amnesty’s country report on North Korea: http://thereport.amnesty.org/en/regions/asia-pacific/north-korea

  17. The North Koreans are clearly using them as a statement to the rest of us that they will not tolerate foreigners doing as they please on their soil. Bryna, I do not applaud what the Koreans have done but at the same I do not believe journalists, or anyone for that matter should be above the law of their host nation. Would it be easier to simply deport them and let them off with a slap on the hand? Of course… but that happens in Switzerland (maybe), not when you’re trying to get a story in a totalitarian state like North Korea. I believe anyone knows that, and you don’t even have to be a seasoned journalist!

  18. Release these young women. It can only do good to do so: for N. Korea, for their families, for the world we occupy together. Please.

  19. US is the one who causes the Koreans to be sanctions and not freely develop
    the same as it does to all poorer nations ,…keeping them down till it can invade and figure out how to make the best use of them.

    Whatever the Americans were doing in ROK to begin with , surprisingly the fake human rights group Amnesty, doesnt say. but went on to tell us what color the pirson guard is poosing.

    Every prisoner –that Amnesty wants – should be set free…just because.

    Please dont insult the intelligence of People more than America already has.

    No laws / no jails
    =

  20. Joann, very correct, it’s the U.S. which blockades North Korea with sanctions & doesn’t let her develop freely. How right you are to point out this fundamental truth !!

    i disagree with Amnesty’s position that the N. Koreans are in “a dangerous game of escalating tensions with the international community.” It’s the U.S. which ganged up with S. Korea in a military alliance & begun war games, escalating the tensions. America has a vast array of nuclear weapons, yet how disgusting it is to hear U.S. journalists’ howls of outrage at N.Korea’s one “puny” nuclear test . Nor do i like Amnesty’s easy use of language which shakes an outraged head at a lone, cornered country while sucking up to the U.S. bullies by dignifying them & their allies with the name of ” internationqal community”. Amnesty’s treatment of nations is not as fair & evenhanded as it imagines or shows itself to be.

    At the same time, Joann, Amnesty isn’t a”fake rights group” — it does a lot of very good work & points out abuses by everybody on every side.

    Some commentators here accuse thge women journalists of being where they shouldn’t have been & of crossing the border. Journalists are supposed to be everywhere — every single where !!! And no border is sacred unless we’re talking of invasion.

    And Ken Lee, we don’t clean “our own house first before condemning others.” That’s an excuse of despots. Everything is interconnected. There’s no ‘our” house, “their” house where freedom & dignity’s involved. The struggle is together. And all are my relatives.

  21. what was laura ling doing over there if she had a 4 year old?
    mother of the year award…
    ridiculous
    nevertheless…free her and her partner…but these women should really think about what they are doing and where they are going if they are going to have children… geezzzzzzzzzz

  22. Release these young women. It can only do good to do so: for N. Korea, for their families, for the world we occupy together. Please.

  23. So China has shut down all lines of communication?

    I don't think so. China is still deluging us with commodities that were once manufactured here — before China learned how to dump goods, steal patents and copyrighted material, etc.

    So, refuse to buy any Chinese-made goods and see if China doesn't suddenly open up lines of communication.

    Who knows, we might even get factories going again in the USofA.

  24. So China has shut down all lines of communication?

    I don’t think so. China is still deluging us with commodities that were once manufactured here — before China learned how to dump goods, steal patents and copyrighted material, etc.

    So, refuse to buy any Chinese-made goods and see if China doesn’t suddenly open up lines of communication.

    Who knows, we might even get factories going again in the USofA.

  25. patty cake asks, what was Laura ling doing there when she's got a 4 year old ?

    My answer : She was doing her duty.

    Being a mother doesn't mean stopping one's lifework, especially when it's about finding the truth.

    One doesn't surrender one's commitments to other people, to other beings, & to the greater things in life which each person is called upon, from deep within her or himself, to pursue.

    For a woman once a mother is still much more than that — she's who she continues to dream & define herself to be. And , if necessary , she sacrifices home & the smaller definition of family to go out & do what she must for the greater family to which we all belong .

    There's more than just a single path for "mothrhood".

  26. patty cake asks, what was Laura ling doing there when she’s got a 4 year old ?

    My answer : She was doing her duty.

    Being a mother doesn’t mean stopping one’s lifework, especially when it’s about finding the truth.

    One doesn’t surrender one’s commitments to other people, to other beings, & to the greater things in life which each person is called upon, from deep within her or himself, to pursue.

    For a woman once a mother is still much more than that — she’s who she continues to dream & define herself to be. And , if necessary , she sacrifices home & the smaller definition of family to go out & do what she must for the greater family to which we all belong .

    There’s more than just a single path for “mothrhood”.

  27. Okay, first–Euna Lee is the mother of the 4 year old, and it was her first overseas assignment. She's a video editor, and pretty obviously was on the assignment because she speaks Korean. Regardless if she sought out the assignment or if she was pushed into taking it by her higher-ups, it's her choice, even if she had no real idea of the dangers.

    And John–do you really believe this?

    "Journalists are supposed to be everywhere — every single where !!! And no border is sacred unless we’re talking of invasion."

    Journalists are not above the law of any country. Journalists don't get a free pass to just break any law that inconveniences them. Is the US government supposed to rescue every citizen? There's no proof that these two actually crossed into North Korea.

  28. Okay, first–Euna Lee is the mother of the 4 year old, and it was her first overseas assignment. She’s a video editor, and pretty obviously was on the assignment because she speaks Korean. Regardless if she sought out the assignment or if she was pushed into taking it by her higher-ups, it’s her choice, even if she had no real idea of the dangers.

    And John–do you really believe this?

    “Journalists are supposed to be everywhere — every single where !!! And no border is sacred unless we’re talking of invasion.”

    Journalists are not above the law of any country. Journalists don’t get a free pass to just break any law that inconveniences them. Is the US government supposed to rescue every citizen? There’s no proof that these two actually crossed into North Korea.

  29. Belinda, i do believe journalists have the right to be everywhere — in general.

    By this i mean, the people have the right to know EVERYTHING that is happening on their land.

    State Secret Previlege as under Bush & Obama i don't believe in.

    The law protects its very evasions by the powerful, & under its own name !! i'm against such "legal"dark curtains.

    No , friend, i agree with you that the U.S. shouldn't barge into the lands of others.That's why i spoke of invasion.

    But you make me rethink — i don't think paparazzi should invade privacy where no crime has been committed.

    No borders are sacred short of invasion. Journalists serving invading interests fall into violation of the rights of the invaded peoples, not the law of state regimes which oppress their own populations. i draw distinctions between the two.

  30. Belinda, i do believe journalists have the right to be everywhere — in general.

    By this i mean, the people have the right to know EVERYTHING that is happening on their land.

    State Secret Previlege as under Bush & Obama i don’t believe in.

    The law protects its very evasions by the powerful, & under its own name !! i’m against such “legal”dark curtains.

    No , friend, i agree with you that the U.S. shouldn’t barge into the lands of others.That’s why i spoke of invasion.

    But you make me rethink — i don’t think paparazzi should invade privacy where no crime has been committed.

    No borders are sacred short of invasion. Journalists serving invading interests fall into violation of the rights of the invaded peoples, not the law of state regimes which oppress their own populations. i draw distinctions between the two.

  31. I can't understand why anyone here is defending NK or saying that these two women should suffer the consequences of their actions. Sure, "do the crime, do the time" applies in free, democratic nations where justice is (at least in theory) a fair process, and punishment is not cruel or grossly disproportionate to the crime. Our notions of fair justice simply do not apply in NK, and as a result I view this as a hostage situation, not a legal one. Simply put, because of the incredibly atrocious ways prisoners are treated in NK, along with the huge number of political prisoners there, NK should not be accorded the respect and recognition that most other nations receive when foreign nationals are being tried (e.g. if an American is accused of a crime in Canada, the US will respect Canada's sovereignty and justice system because it is perceived to be fair). Because NK's behavior is so far removed from international norms and basic human decency, it must be regarded as a rogue state not worthy of the usual recognition under international protocol.

    Anyone who says Laura Ling and Euna Lee deserve their punishment in NK ought to read the book "Eyes of the Tailless Animals" by Soon Ok Lee. With the possible exeception of losing a loved one, reading this book may be the most soul-shattering experience of your life. It is this book that best describes the future for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, unless they can somehow be rescued. To do so, it may be necessary to drop all sanctions against NK and let them have as many nukes as they want. South Korea and Japan would not be happy with this, but their leaders should also read "Eyes of the Tailless Animals" and then they might understand.

    If even those enormous concessions to NK fail to get Ling and Lee released, the only remaining option would be war, which NK already seems to be provoking. NK has about 1 million troops stationed north of the DMZ. Wiping out these troops along with NK's missile launching capability could require deploying a large portion of the US nuclear arsenal (hundreds of warheads, perhaps even 1000-2000). Yes, you read that correctly–I am raising the possibility of a massive nuclear attack on NK. How else does anyone think we can rid the world of its most despicable cancer, a diabolical regime that has ravaged its people and threatened its neighbors for almost 60 years? The NK regime will never collapse on its own, and any non-nuclear attack would be certain to fail. The possibility that these two journalists will fall victim to the unspeakably cruel NK gulag may just be the final straw that breaks the world's tolerance of NK's existence.

  32. North Korea's qualification for the World Cup raises a major moral dilemma and begs the question of why NK is even allowed to compete in international football. For many years, South Africa was banned from World Cup competition because of its policy of apartheid. Without denying the evil of apartheid, it's safe to say that NK is guilty of crimes against humanity that are far worse than what happened in South Africa. A comparison to the Holocaust would be quite apt (though no one ever speaks of NK in such terms). Yet, NK has never been banned from international football. Why not? And, more specifically, why not now? Especially in view of its current behavior, the presence of NK in the World Cup field is truly shameful.

    FIFA could, and should, expel NK from the World Cup now. But it probably won't happen. Like the IOC, FIFA makes decisions that are politically convenient. Compare FIFA's treatment of South Africa vs. North Korea and the conclusion is obvious: the rights of black Africans are worth fighting for (as it should be), but those of the North Korean people aren't. And who knows what NK would do if it were banned from the WC…maybe launch a nuclear missile directly at Seoul. FIFA and the world are afraid. What a wretched world this has become when a pariah state effectively has the upper hand.

  33. I can’t understand why anyone here is defending NK or saying that these two women should suffer the consequences of their actions. Sure, “do the crime, do the time” applies in free, democratic nations where justice is (at least in theory) a fair process, and punishment is not cruel or grossly disproportionate to the crime. Our notions of fair justice simply do not apply in NK, and as a result I view this as a hostage situation, not a legal one. Simply put, because of the incredibly atrocious ways prisoners are treated in NK, along with the huge number of political prisoners there, NK should not be accorded the respect and recognition that most other nations receive when foreign nationals are being tried (e.g. if an American is accused of a crime in Canada, the US will respect Canada’s sovereignty and justice system because it is perceived to be fair). Because NK’s behavior is so far removed from international norms and basic human decency, it must be regarded as a rogue state not worthy of the usual recognition under international protocol.

    Anyone who says Laura Ling and Euna Lee deserve their punishment in NK ought to read the book “Eyes of the Tailless Animals” by Soon Ok Lee. With the possible exeception of losing a loved one, reading this book may be the most soul-shattering experience of your life. It is this book that best describes the future for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, unless they can somehow be rescued. To do so, it may be necessary to drop all sanctions against NK and let them have as many nukes as they want. South Korea and Japan would not be happy with this, but their leaders should also read “Eyes of the Tailless Animals” and then they might understand.

    If even those enormous concessions to NK fail to get Ling and Lee released, the only remaining option would be war, which NK already seems to be provoking. NK has about 1 million troops stationed north of the DMZ. Wiping out these troops along with NK’s missile launching capability could require deploying a large portion of the US nuclear arsenal (hundreds of warheads, perhaps even 1000-2000). Yes, you read that correctly–I am raising the possibility of a massive nuclear attack on NK. How else does anyone think we can rid the world of its most despicable cancer, a diabolical regime that has ravaged its people and threatened its neighbors for almost 60 years? The NK regime will never collapse on its own, and any non-nuclear attack would be certain to fail. The possibility that these two journalists will fall victim to the unspeakably cruel NK gulag may just be the final straw that breaks the world’s tolerance of NK’s existence.

  34. North Korea’s qualification for the World Cup raises a major moral dilemma and begs the question of why NK is even allowed to compete in international football. For many years, South Africa was banned from World Cup competition because of its policy of apartheid. Without denying the evil of apartheid, it’s safe to say that NK is guilty of crimes against humanity that are far worse than what happened in South Africa. A comparison to the Holocaust would be quite apt (though no one ever speaks of NK in such terms). Yet, NK has never been banned from international football. Why not? And, more specifically, why not now? Especially in view of its current behavior, the presence of NK in the World Cup field is truly shameful.

    FIFA could, and should, expel NK from the World Cup now. But it probably won’t happen. Like the IOC, FIFA makes decisions that are politically convenient. Compare FIFA’s treatment of South Africa vs. North Korea and the conclusion is obvious: the rights of black Africans are worth fighting for (as it should be), but those of the North Korean people aren’t. And who knows what NK would do if it were banned from the WC…maybe launch a nuclear missile directly at Seoul. FIFA and the world are afraid. What a wretched world this has become when a pariah state effectively has the upper hand.

  35. Pingback: The Latest on U.S. Journalists in North Korea | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  36. Pingback: replyforall - join the mission

  37. "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me"…a song kindergarteners sang…they are so much wiser than the adults of this world…I hope they don't get influenced by us.

  38. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”…a song kindergarteners sang…they are so much wiser than the adults of this world…I hope they don’t get influenced by us.

  39. Did we learn anything? THink before you act…these girls must think. Laura Ling will write a book = lots of money. What a joke!!!! The girls should wirte thank you cards to every taxpayers.

  40. Did we learn anything? THink before you act…these girls must think. Laura Ling will write a book = lots of money. What a joke!!!! The girls should wirte thank you cards to every taxpayers.

  41. Pingback: Welcome Back Laura Ling and Euna Lee! | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog