Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sending Good Thoughts to Pyongyang Central Court

Trial of Current TV's Laura Ling and Euna Lee Set for Tomorrow

Unlike the high-profile campaign to get Roxanne Saberi out of Iran, any efforts to get Current TV's Euna Lee and Laura Ling out of North Korea have been well-concealed.
We're assuming there's a good reason for that, given the loose cannons in control in Pyongyang, some of whom would dearly love a propaganda slam-dunk against the U-S.
The pair were detained March 17 and charged with illegally crossing into North Korea from China and other so-called "hostile acts" that could land them up to 10 years in a labor camp.
North Korea has denied diplomats -- in this case, Swedes representing U.S. interests -- since March 30 in contravention of international law. Surprise, surprise.
And we can all guess how a purported trial will turn out. Will Kim Jong-Il and his gang put on a show, convict the two and then give them an unceremonial boot from the country? Or, will North Korea try to scapegoat Lee and Ling while the contretemps over the missile tests rages on? It probably also doesn't help that nobody knows who's really in charge over there and what their agendas might be.
Current is, of course, Al Gore's baby. It's hard to tell whether that's hurting or helping the reporters' cause. The channel has put up a wall of silence about Lee and Ling in the apparent belief that saying nothing increases the chances of not pissing off the notoriously pissy North Koreans.
Let's hope Kim and Co. know that silence doesn't mean Lee and Ling have been forgotten. On that front, North Korea cannot win.
Let's also hope they consider the trial their own little show -- a perverse amusement to brighten their otherwise-dour lives -- and then remember that when the show is over, it's time for the performers to go home.

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