Kim Jong-il has granted a special pardon to detained journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee

Posted by Lia Chang

Kim _jong-il has granted a pardon to detained journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

Today is the day we have all been waiting for, detained journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been granted a special pardon by Kim Jong-il, due to the diplomatic tact of Ex-President Bill Clinton's surprise visit to Pyongyang.

American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained in North Korea while on assignment for San Francisco-based Current TV a media venture founded by former Vice President Al Gore on March 17, while they were shooting video along the China/North Korea border for a story they were working on about the trafficking of women in the region. They were stopped by North Korean border guards and arrested immediately thereafter. Both women were transported to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, where they remained under arrest until their trial.

Their verdict in a closed trial was reached on June 8, and both women were sentenced to 12 years of reform through labor for illegal entry and grave crimes against the North Korean state.

Since the sentencing, the families have received calls, and during the second call in July, Laura told her sister Lisa Ling that she and Euna did violate North Korean law and confessed to all of the charges levied against them. They expressed deep regret for their actions and asked for continued support from our country and its citizens for their amnesty.

In a surprise move, ex-President Bill Clinton flew to Pyongyang yesterday in a private humanitarian mission, to secure initiate the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. At the airport, he was greeted by Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and Kim Kye Gwan, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs. He subsequently sat down with Kim Jong-il, who has now granted a special pardon to the two American journalists. Thanks Mr. Clinton. We look forward to seeing Laura and Euna soon.

Click hereReuters: North Korea's Kim releases U.S. journalists: report
Tue Aug 4, 2009 3:21pm EDT
for the full report on reuters.com.

7:34am EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has granted a "special pardon" to two jailed U.S. journalists which releases them from detention, the official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

"Kim Jong-il issued an order of the chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission on granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labor in accordance with Article 103 of the Socialist Constitution and releasing them," KCNA said in a statement which carried a Pyongyang dateline.

Check out the website www.lauraandeuna.com, created by the families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.