US hopeful of amnesty to American journalists arrested by North Korea

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New York, July 11 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hopeful that two American journalists detained by North Korea on charges of illegally entering the country will be granted amnesty.

Clinton on Friday said "everyone is very sorry" about an incident that resulted in North Korea detaining two US journalists. The US Government has for the first time acknowledged the possibility that the two women committed an offense.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee of the US media group Current TV, were arrested in March near the China-North Korea border while reporting on the trafficking of women. They were convicted of "great crimes" in June and sentenced to 12 years hard labor, the Daily News reports.

Asked about the case by a State Department worker, Clinton said: "The two journalists and their families have expressed great remorse for this incident and I think everyone is very sorry that it happened."

"What we hope for now is that these two young women would be granted amnesty through the North Korean system and be allowed to return home to their families as soon as possible," she added.

Lisa Ling told Sacramento, California, NBC affiliate KCRA that her sister Laura told her by telephone on Tuesday that she and colleague Lee had violated North Korean law and needed help from the US Government to secure amnesty.

Before Thursday, the State Department had called for their release on humanitarian grounds and had not acknowledged the possibility of any wrongdoing. (ANI)

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