There has been a lot of exciting news here on mikeshinoda.com and in the Linkin Park community about the various projects on the radar; with “New Divide,” Chester’s solo album, my art show, and a new Linkin Park album in the pipeline, we have much to celebrate. However, I want to take a moment to step away from that, and bring your attention to an urgent subject that is troubling to me.
As some of you may have already heard, two U.S. journalists were arrested in North Korea. I met one of the reporters, Laura Ling, only a few months ago.
Laura is a news reporter for Current TV. Her sister is journalist Lisa Ling (of Oprah Winfrey’s show and The View).
On March 17, Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested for alleged, unspecified “hostile acts” after reportedly crossing the border into North Korean territory from China. The families have stated that the reporters did not embark on their trip with intentions of entering North Korean territory (see video below). An associate of the two reporters says they were in the area to report on a piece regarding North Korean refugees. Reporters Without Borders claims: “It is by no means clear that Ling and Lee were arrested on North Korean territory.” (see link to their press release below)
Laura and Euna are scheduled for trial by the North Korean government this week, on June 4th. If convicted, the women could end up in one of North Korea’s notorious labor camps.
Some analysts believe this arrest plays a role as a “bargaining chip” in the bigger picture of an ongoing North Korean / American nuclear weapon debate. The U.S. government does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, where the women are being held.
Laura and Euna’s families are struggling to spread word about their situation. The more world focus there is on the subject, the more pressure there will be on the North Korean government to treat these two young women with care–and hopefully return them safely to their families.
There are a few ways for you to help.
Firstly, a candlelight vigil will be happening on June 3rd. You can find out how to join that movement by going here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=60755553149&ref=ts. U.S. vigil locations are on this page.
Another option: I am asking for the help of our fans all around the world–particularly those in Eastern Europe, China, and South Korea– to spread the word and post messages of support and hope for these two young people–and make sure to let the community on the above Facebook page know you’ve posted. Their families beg for your help. The more positive noise you can make for them, the more helpful you will be.
Lastly, you can simply voice your words of support here on mikeshinoda.com. Just click and make a positive comment, and they will see your post.
Thank you for your help and understanding,
Info about the reporters and Lisa Ling: