Digital News Report- The two U.S. journalists from the San Francisco based Current TV who are currently being held by the North Korean government will face trial for espionage. Laura Ling, the sister of CNN reporter Lisa Ling, and Euna Lee, the editor of the news for Current TV, have been held since March 17 when they were accused of crossing over the border from China illegally. The women could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
According to Reporters Without Borders, they may have been on the Chinese side of the Tumen River filming when they were arrested. They were reportedly doing a story on the trafficking of North Korean women. The North Korean Border Patrol have been known to cross the border into China before. Reporters Without Boarders along with the International Women’s Media Foundation have launched a petition demanding the release of the two women.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, the decision to send the reporters to trial is “based on their documented crimes.” They are apparently being put on trial for “hostile acts” as well as crossing into the country illegally.
Earlier this month, North Korea upset the international community by launching a rocket. They claimed that the rocket was a communications satellite, but many countries viewed it as a missile test. The United States publicly condemned the launch.