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N. Korea holds reporters in 'guest house'

Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee are being held in a “guest house” on the outskirts of Pyongyang, and the North Korean government isn’t going to release them soon.

That’s according to a report by Mike Harvey of the Times of London/TimesOnline. His report is one of the most thorough stories to date on the capture of the two reporters. The initial report of their arrest made the news on March 19, but since then there have been few reports and little new information about the two reporters for the San Francisco-based TV channel and Web operation.

Current TV has said little about the two reporters, perhaps out of fear of saying something that would antagonize the North Korean government. But Harvey said Current TV co-founder Al Gore has contacted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ask for her assistance. The U.S. has no embassy in North Korea but a representative of the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang is said to have seen the journalists at the end of last month, Harvey reported.

Harvey’s report quotes a South Korean university professor, Koh Yu Hwan of Dongguk University in Seoul, who predicted that the North Korean government will use the two women to its political advantage. Having two Americans was like having a “piece of rice cake rolling in for free”, the professor said.

Reporters Without Borders has called for the immediate release of the journalists and urged Chinese authorities to intercede on their behalf “as they were probably on Chinese soil when they were arrested.” (Photo credits: Yonhap via AP)

Previous reports:

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