This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Coming up, David Kaczynski talks about his brother, the Unabomber.

But first, earlier this month, advocates for press freedom cheered the release of the Iranian-American reporter Roxana Saberi. She spent three and half months at Evin Prison in Tehran on charges of espionage. Those same advocates have also kept their attention on two other U.S. journalists: Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who are now being held in North Korea. They're employees of Current, a multimedia network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

Euna Lee is a producer for the network. Her job is to figure out logistics for reporting from the field, like finding guests and translators and scheduling interviews. Laura Ling is an on-air correspondent for Current. She's filed investigative reports from some of the world's most dangerous locations, including this story, "Narco War Next Door," about drug-related violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso.

(Soundbite of broadcast)

Ms. LAURA LING (Current TV): Less than a year ago, drug traffickers tried to kill the chief of police of Juarez at this site. They drove past here and fired over 200 bullets. You can see that some of these bullet holes have been patched up. The chief of police actually survived that incident, but his successor was killed just a few months ago.

SIMON: The women were on assignment along another dangerous border, near China and North Korea, when they were arrested on March 17th. North Korea's official news agency has reported that they will stand trial on Thursday, June 4th, but it has not released details about the charges against them.

The North Korean government has accused the women of illegally entering North Korea and committing what it calls undetermined hostile acts. If Ms. Lee and Ms. Ling are convicted, they could be sent to a labor camp for several years or to prison for up to 10 years.

The women were accompanied by a Current TV cameraman and Chinese guide while on assignment. The cameraman declined to comment on the case.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from