Two American Journalists Sentenced to 12 Years’ Hard Labor in North Korea

images3 Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced by North Korea's Central Court to twelve years' hard labor for "committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry," according to the New York Times. The reporters, who were on assignment for the San Francisco-based company co-founded by former vice president Al Gore, have become pawns in an ugly international confrontation over North Korea's nuclear test program. Gore hasn't commented publicly on the reporters' plight. The sentence comes in the wake of North Korea's threat to retaliate with "extreme" measures if it were punished for last month's nuclear tests.

According to the U.S. State Department, North Korea's National Security Agency operates a "gulag" of concentration camps. Former inmates have reported that escapees were hunted down and executed in front of other prisoners.