swedish ambassador meets with euna lee and laura ling

Last week, the Swedish ambassador who represents U.S. interests in North Korea met with American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been detained since mid-March. It was the first such contact in six weeks: Swedish envoy meets detained journalists in NKorea: US.

According to the State Department, the Swedish ambassador to North Korea, acting as the United States' protecting power, met with Lee and and Ling on May 15. However, officials did not give any details about their current condition.

The two journalists are scheduled to face trial on June 4, on unspecified charges of "hostile acts" and illegally entering the country. If convicted of "hostile acts," they could face up to ten years of forced labor.

More than likely, Pyongyang is using their detention as a bargaining chip to open direct talks with Washington, which has participated in six-country negotiations aimed at scrapping North Korea's nuclear programs.

Meanwhile, two Americans are stuck in a North Korean prison on trumped up charges as nations posture. This Thursday, May 21, there will be a series of candlelight vigils held across the U.S. in support of the prompt return of Laura and Euna. You can go to this Facebook group for more details.

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