N. Korea Sentences U.S. Reporters to 12 Years

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rgarjr, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    #1
  2. theMaccer macrumors 6502a

    theMaccer

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  3. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #3
    Why?

    They broke the law of the land to which they also illegally entered. It says right there on your passport that whenever you enter a country, you are subject to their laws. The only general class of people exempt from these laws are diplomats and in certain circumstances, military personnel.

    While it wouldn't be fair to say that these people are getting what they deserve, they also should have understood the risk of the actions they were undertaking.

    If the US took military action against North Korea because of these two reporters, it would be the US which would be legally in the wrong.
     
  4. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #4
    First of all, it's not 12 years in a minimum security resort. It's 12 years in a labor camp where many prisoners die. It's basically a concentration camp. Second of all, there is no way they had a fair trial in that kangaroo court. And finally, it is quite possible they never crossed into North Korean territory. They were near the China/NK border which has very rugged terrain and there is no clear borderline dividing the two countries. North Korean border patrol agents have been known to arrest people on the Chinese side of the border who never set foot into North Korea. Of course, without the fair trial, they didn't get the opportunity to defend themselves.
     
  5. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Part of the game, the UK and US being two of the many participants.
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #6
    Who will be sent to rescue the seals when they're thrown in gaol for illegally being in the country?
     
  7. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    You guys are forgetting the many foreign journalists that the US is keeping in prisons like G-bay without trials.

    As for these two ladies, well they should have known what they were getting themselves into when attempting to get that scoop, they are the ones at fault.
     
  8. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #8
    Not sure that I follow. Your first sentence seems to be attacking - as asserted by you - the United States for not providing a trial to the "many foreign journalists that the US is keeping in prisons like G-bay."

    Although not expressly stated, your second sentence concerns the justice levied by a secret North Korean court ( http://news.scotsman.com/world/Around-the-world-Journalists-given.5343640.jp ), and suggests that any justice rendered by that (so-called) court is befitting of their crime.

    Here's my confusion. If the United States were to give the "many foreign journalists that the US is keeping in prisons like G-bay" a fair trial, would that make the US judicial system more palatable? Conversely, if it were revealed that the North Korean trial was a sham, would that make the two journalists' sentences less palatable?

    Or is your point that as long as there are instances of US abuses of the judicial system, Americans have no room to vocalize concerns about the justice system of another country?

    I'm interested.
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #9
    The walruses?

    Goo goo ga choo goo goo ga choo
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    Thai prisons aren't exactly wonderful for the people who get caught taking drugs there - ultimately that's a risk you have to take if you do drugs there.

    To be perfectly honest going within 50 miles of the North Korean border is very unwise.

    I'd say that generally going near the border of any two countries in mountainous terrain (unless you are on a main road) is unwise unless you are allowed to enter both countries in question - and that both countries concerned aren't too fussed if you leave accidently without getting your border stamps.
     
  11. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #11
    This would be a land based incursion, save the frogs for the water where they shine.

    Send in Delta, if you send anyone.

    I'm for a diplomatic solution.
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #12
    The deal they can hopefully get is for them to spend the rest of their prison sentence in the US - but its North Korea so maybe not.
     
  13. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #13
    I'm not speaking to the fairness of the DPRK justice system. I'm not speaking to their respect for human rights or a basic legal framework that jives with the rest of the world.

    If they were close enough to be nabbed, they were close enough to have been prepared for that risk. If you can't tell which side of the border you're on or in an effective no man's land, this is a possibility.

    If they weren't aware of this risk, then they shouldn't have been there in the first place.

    I say this as a person who has and does regularly work in harsh, paranoid regimes. On a semi regular basis I do things that are highly illegal in many of the countries in which I work and have worked. If I'm ever sent to jail, no American specops team is coming for me. That's a risk I understand and its a risk I'm willing to undertake.

    What these ladies have done by engaging in whatever activity they were construed as being guilty of has not only endangered their own lives but turned them into a political tool to be used by the very regime of which they trying to report.

    Personally, they have my sympathy. Professionally, this is the result of an amateurish operation and probably had no business being there in the first place.
     
  14. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Yes this is my point. Recently we had the American/Iranian journalist detained and charged in Iran who was then released. There was a lot of media coverage for that in the US and political pressure from the US govt that she be released. Now we have these two ladies in NK, again more media coverage and government pressure for their release. However there is no mention of or pressure for the release of the many foreign journalists the US holds without trial. Therefore the US should first focus on dealing with the trial or release of the journalists it holds before going around and pressuring other countries to release American journalists who are being detained under equally suspicious circumstances.

    There is a lot of hypocrisy and double standards involved in American foreign policy ("do as I say not as I do"), and as long as that continues to exist, fewer countries are going to take the US seriously.

    As for my second sentence, yes they are at fault. I have not commented on how the NK govt has handled the issue, but the women were at fault and should have known better.
     
  15. theMaccer macrumors 6502a

    theMaccer

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    #15
    I thought China and NK were separated by a river.
     
  16. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

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    #16
    The labour camp bit is the part that scares me.

    They may have been in the wrong, but 12 years in a labour camp is undeserving. Who knows what's happening to those poor women right now.

    In this day and age, North Korea is surely a completely backwards country, especially for the area of the world it's in. It's hard not to think that the simple act of removing KJI from power would be the first step to bringing NK citizens to a more amicable situation. I wasn't for the invasion of Afghanistan, or for the invasion of Iraq, but I'm all for the removal of Kim Jong-Il, as foolish and against international law that sort of thing may be.
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    These women deserve the same right to an open and fair trial as everyone else does.

    Sadly, there are too many countries that restrict this right for foreigners (and even their own citizens) based on "national security" concerns.
     
  18. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #18
    All of them?
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    Unsure. Probably most of them reserve the ability to do so, even if they cry mightily when someone else exercises the same power they claim for themselves.

    Isn't hypocrisy delicious? :cool:
     
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #20
    +1

    Only along part of the border, as the border goes from sea to sea there can't be a river the whole way :p.
     
  21. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #21
    Thank you for responding. Then I have one more question; is there a country that, in your opinion, has a flawless judicial system thereby enabling its citizens to vocalize concerns about another country's judicial system? Because, if I read your comments correctly, citizens of any country with a judicial system that makes mistakes have no footing to express concerns about another country's judicial system. So, are there any that are flawless thereby neutralizing the popular hypocrisy argument? I don't ask rhetorically. I am interested.
     
  22. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #22
    I'm glad you brought that up because a lot of commenters have no idea about the geography of Korea and why the DPRK border guards crossing to the Chinese side sounds like apologist propoganda.

    Baekdu-san, or Baekdu mountain is the source of two rivers that traditionally divide the Korean peninsula from China. To the southeast is the Amnok/Yalu river, which is about 2/3 of the border and to the northeast is the Tumen river.

    Most North Korean refugees cross over the Tumen river because there is a large Sino-Korean population on the Chinese side in which they can blend.

    Using Occam's approach, they were probably on the DPRK side.

    That said, I give the reporting of them being on the "right side" of the border the benefit of the doubt because they could have been on the Baekdu region. Otherwise, the story makes no sense unless you get into conspiracy theory-ish snatch jobs.

    On a personal note, before the organization for which I usually work closed its projects there, I tried a couple times to get assigned to that region. They actually wouldn't send me because the nationalities/passports I travel under and/or have access to SPECIFICALLY make me a political liability.
     
  23. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    I am not concerned with countries criticizing the judicial systems of other countries, I am concerned with detaining journalists under suspicious circumstances ourselves, while at the same time demanding that our journalists held under similar circumstances elsewhere be released. If those journalists should be released then why not release our own journalist captives so that they can rejoin their families?

    "I want to illegally keep foreign Journalists whom I've suspiciously detained and imprisoned but I want you to release my Journalists whom you have suspiciously detained and imprisoned."

    It's almost funny.
     
  24. buffalo macrumors 65816

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    #24
    SeAL = sea, air, land. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt to get the job done.
     
  25. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #25
    Interesting. How can we criticize and demand they return these women when we imprison so many people from other countries in Gitmo with no trial at all? We've kind of lost the moral high ground at this point.
     

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