US says Swedish ambassador visits American journalists jailed in NKorea

By Associated Press
11:59 AM PDT, June 23, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States says the Swedish ambassador in North Korea has visited two American reporters sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters that the ambassador, who serves as the U.S. protecting power in Pyongyang, visited the women Tuesday in Pyongyang. He had no other details.

The ambassador's last meeting with the women was June 1. Kelly says the ambassador has been in "constant contact" with the North, pressing for access. He says the U.S. is "pursuing many different avenues" to secure their release but would not elaborate.

The reporters, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, were sentenced in June on charges of entering the North illegally and engaging in "hostile acts."

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