8 Jun 2009

North Korea convicts US journalists

4:29 pm on 8 June 2009

North Korea has found has two United States journalists it has held since March guilty of illegal entry.

The country's official news agency says a court has sentenced the pair to 12 years' hard labour.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling, of US media outlet Current TV, were arrested while working on a story near the border between North Korea and China.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says her country is considering reinstating North Korea on its list of states viewed as sponsors of terrorism.

North Korea was removed from the list in October 2008 after it began disabling a nuclear reactor, but carried out another nuclear test on 25 May.

Mrs Clinton says the reason for being removed from the list "is being thwarted by their actions".

When the US removed North Korea from the terror list, Pyongyang agreed to allow nuclear experts to take samples and conduct forensic tests at all its declared nuclear facilities and undeclared sites, on mutual consent.

The BBC reports that the latest nuclear test has prompted the United Nations to discuss tightening sanctions imposed in 2006, after the North's first nuclear test.