Ban welcomes release of US journalists from DPR Korea

5 August 2009
Former US President Bill Clinton

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the release of two United States journalists by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) during the visit to Pyongyang by former US President Bill Clinton.

“He appreciates the decision of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to release them on humanitarian considerations, responding to the repeated calls by the international community,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee arrived in the US city of Los Angeles this morning with Mr. Clinton, after DPRK’s leader, Kim Jong-il, granted them a special pardon.

The two women, who work for an Internet broadcaster, Current TV, had been found guilty of entering DPRK illegally in March and sentenced to 12 years’ hard labour.

Mr. Ban congratulated former President Clinton for his “successful humanitarian mission.”

In addition, he reiterated his hope that dialogue will resume at the earliest possible time between the DPRK and the parties concerned towards resolving outstanding concerns including the nuclear issue, according to the statement.


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