Clinton Says Internet Can Help Free U.S. Reporters in North Korea

    May 19, 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an online campaign to help with the release of two American women journalists being held in North Korea.

Clinton made the remarks at a graduation ceremony at Barnard College, a women’s university in New York City.

"We have two young women journalists right now imprisoned in North Korea and you can get busy on the Internet and let the North Koreans know that we find that absolutely unacceptable," Clinton told the graduation ceremony.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Clinton was speaking about using social media tools to raise awareness and fight injustices.

North Korea announced last week that it had set a June 4 trial for the two journalists, Euna Lee, a Korean-American, and Laura Ling, a Chinese American, but did not offer information about the charges against them.

In her address Clinton cited other examples of college students using social media as a political tool.

"You can unite your friends through Facebook to fight human trafficking or child marriage, like the two recent college graduates in Colombia – the country – who organized 14 million people into the largest anti-terrorism demonstration in history, doing as much damage to the FARC terrorist network in a few weeks than had been done in years of military action."

"And you can organize through Twitter, like the undergraduates at Northwestern who launched a global fast to bring attention to Iran’s imprisonment of an American journalist."

"These new tools are available for everyone. They are democratizing diplomacy."