BREAKING NEWS

North Korea mum about US journalists' trial

North Korea stayed silent Friday about the fate of two US journalists who were supposed to go on trial a day earlier on charges they entered the country illegally and engaged in "hostile acts" - allegations that could draw a 10-year sentence in a labor camp. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's California-based Current TV, were arrested March 17 near the North Korean border while on a reporting trip to China. Their trial began in the communist country's highest court at a time of mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula following the regime's provocative May 25 nuclear test. Analyst Choi Eun-suk, a professor of North Korean law at Kyungnam University, said the court could convict the women, and then the government could use them as bargaining chips with the United States.
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