Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Does Al Gore Care His Employees Are Held Hostage in North Korea?

Is it just me or is it just a bit unseemly that Al Gore has had no comment over the fact two of his employees are being held hostage in North Korea and are reportedly undergoing intense interrogation? This story was first reported about five days ago and I've yet to see a single news account where he's commented. Does anyone even know where he is?
Two American journalists detained at North Korea's border with China are under investigation by North Korean military intelligence officers who suspect they were engaged in espionage activities, a report said Tuesday.

North Korea has said its border guards arrested two Americans on March 17 for "illegally intruding" after they entered the country from China. The two have been identified as Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based media outlet Current TV.

South Korea's mass-circulation JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said Tuesday that the American women had crossed the border from China while reporting on North Korean refugees.

They were taken to Pyongyang a day after their arrest, and were being held at a guest house run by the military intelligence agency on the outskirts of the capital, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed South Korean intelligence officer.

North Korean investigators were checking the journalists' cameras, video tapes and notebooks to try to establish if they had been spying on the North's military facilities, the report said.

North Korea "will not treat the female journalists harshly, although they will undergo intense interrogation," the paper quoted another unnamed South Korean intelligence officer as saying.

South Korea's main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said Tuesday that South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities had been keeping a close watch on the case, but that it could not immediately confirm the JoongAng Ilbo report.

Seoul's Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, also said it could not confirm the report.

A U.S. official said Saturday that the U.S. has been in touch with North Korean representatives about the journalists and was awaiting a reply. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the issue, said the U.S. did not know where the North was holding them.
It's entirely possible there are some back channel negotiations going on that the media isn't privy to, but has anyone even reached Gore for comment?

Searching around this morning, the most recent item I see mentioning his name is yet another tedious profile in the Boston Globe claiming he's been proven right on mythical global warming.
Frankly, the intervening years have been good to him in other ways. Science generally has borne out his early concerns over global warming. His dogged quest for environmental awareness led to his best-selling book "An Inconvenient Truth," as well as an Academy Award-winning documentary of the same name, and, topping it all, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Maybe this author from the Boston Globe ought to step outside. On the fifth day of spring it's currently 27 degrees with a wind chill of 16 degrees.

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