Posted by: asianfilmreviews | June 9, 2009

North Korea’s insanity

No, this post is not entertainment-related, but it is about a subject I care very much about – journalism and a free, responsible press. As I write this post, Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee are most likely sitting in a cell in a North Korean prison, having been found guilty of committing grave crimes against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a misnomer if I ever saw one, and sentenced to 12 years of reform through hard labor. The original charges included espionage as the two were detained for illegally crossing into North Korea from China and accused of spying for the U.S. Luckily, however, they were not convicted on the espionage charge. But let’s face it, this incident is not at all about crimes committed against North Korea. This is all so Kim Jong-Il, that western-culture-loving, mass-pornography-consuming, pantsuit-wearing neurotic dictator can look taller than four feet in the eyes of his starving, enslaved people as he preps a successor to his throne. For all intents and purposes, these two women were kidnapped.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling

Euna Lee and Laura Ling

They were kidnapped and are essentially being held for ransom by the North Korean government in exchange for diplomatic concessions. This is political theater at its most heinous, for these two women were doing their duty in reporting on humanitarian issues near the Chinese-North Korean border. The same ideal that allows bloviating ballsacks like Bill O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin to spew forth their vile hatred, racism, and general xenophobia should allow journalists with a purpose beyond maintaining their image and cult of personality to do their job as well (how I wish I came up with the term “bloviating ballsacks,” but I have to give credit to The Cajun Boy at Gawker). It’s just a shame they became embroiled in one nation’s attempt to save face in the middle of a succession crisis.

Here’s hoping that North Korea realizes there is more to this world than a short, stumpy man with a bouffant hairdo and his identity crisis.


  1. NK is even scarier than Russia during the Cold War. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was done in retaliation. As more and more media is getting into North Korea passively through camera phones, I think they decided to really step things up to intimidate both their citizens and anyone wanting to expose North Korea’s reality even further.

    I saw their families crying on Larry King the other day. I feel so bad for Euna, she has a small child that she’ll never get to see grow up :”(

  2. You hit the nail on the head, Rin. Let’s hope that someone such as Bill Richardson or Al Gore is able to secure the release of these hostages. And it always strikes me as odd that the government of North Korea tries to hide what everyone already knows – their people are starving, the myths of their leaders are laughable, and overall living conditions are deplorable.

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