US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been sentenced to twelve years in North Korean prisons where the survival rate is something like 50%, according to the story on today's LA Times website.
Their crime: being on the China/North Korea border to report on human trafficking by the North Korean government.
"The first thing that passed through my mind when I heard about the verdict was that, from an American perspective, this is tantamount to a death sentence," said Scott Snyder, director of the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy for the Asia Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.
The US government is trying to negotiate for their release.
Meanwhile, we owe them and others in these prisons our thoughts and prayers.