Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2009  
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer and Feinstein Lead Call for Envoys to Help Free American Journalists Held in North Korea  

 

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) wrote to President Obama along with seven of their Senate colleagues calling for high-level envoys to North Korea to work for the release of two American journalists being held by the government.

The text of the senators’ letter follows:  

 

June 18, 2009 

 

The President 

The White House 

Washington, DC 20500  

 

Dear Mr. President: 

We write to respectfully request that you strongly consider sending high-level envoys to North Korea to advocate for the release of two American journalists being held by the government, Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Like you, we are deeply concerned by their imprisonment and urge that all appropriate measures be taken to secure their freedom. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, both California residents who work for San Francisco-based Current TV, were arrested on March 17 along the border between North Korea and China. On June 8, the North Korean government sentenced the two women to 12 years of hard labor at an undetermined location. This has devastated their families, including the four-year-old daughter of Euna Lee. As you know, the families have made desperate appeals for their release and have apologized for any offense. Lisa Ling, Laura Ling’s sister and an accomplished journalist, recently said that “if at any point they crossed into North Korean territory then we profusely apologize on their behalf.” While our country has many differences with North Korea, particularly at this difficult time, this is purely a humanitarian emergency that demands an urgent response. These two American citizens are depending upon us to help secure their release, and their return to their country and their families. That is why we believe that it is so important to send envoys who can bring the focused, high-level attention that this situation demands. Thank you for your consideration of this request, and we stand ready to work with you.  

 

Sincerely,  

 

Barbara Boxer 

United States Senator  

 

Dianne Feinstein  

United States Senator  

 

Ron Wyden 

United States Senator  

 

Benjamin L. Cardin 

United States Senator 

 

Amy Klobuchar  

United States Senator  

 

Roland W. Burris 

United States Senator  

 

Mark Begich 

United States Senator 

 

Edward E. Kaufman 

United States Senator  

 

Kirsten E. Gillibrand  

United States Senator