Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg met with Chinese officials in Beijing Friday after having met S. Korea's president in Seoul. Sanctions against the North were a central topic.
Silence hangs over the trial in Pyongyang of the two American women accused of “hostile acts” for entering North Korea “illegally” while reporting along China’s Tumen River border with the North in March.
Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency has not even confirmed if the two, Lisa Ling and Euna Lee of Current TV, are actually on trial, after having said the trial would begin Thursday afternoon before one of the country’s “highest courts.” US officials at the State Department say they have heard nothing, but note that a staffer from the Swedish Embassy, representing US interests in North Korea in the absence of relations between Washington and Pyongyang, was told he could not attend.
Speculation is mounting, however, that eventually Al Gore, the former vice president who is chairman of Current TV, the San Francisco-based Internet network, might go there to negotiate their release.