My last post detailed the plight of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling and the international campaign to convince the government of North Korea to free them. This is a true bipartisan issue and the entire US political establishment, from the White House to stalwart Republicans like Donald Gregg, George Bush, Sr’s ambassador to Korea, appears united in trying to separate the humanitarian issue of getting the women out from the broader military-political issues roiling US/North Korean relations.

The Obama administration has undertaken a full-court press in recent days, using virtually every instrument in its diplomatic toolkit to persuade the North Korean government to release the journalists. The problem is that the US has limited leverage at the moment and other strategically important members of the global community have been silent, most critically China. Beijing exerts unmatched influence over the North Korean regime as its staunchest ally, largest trading partner and most important supplier of food and energy. In the past. China has succeeded in bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table, even when all other efforts have failed.

China’s joining in the global chorus condemning North Korea’s actions could be a crucial step needed to free these journalists. That’s why Amnesty International has launched a new campaign to press China to take action. Lend your voice today to the call on China to intervene on behalf of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.


PS: If you have extra time on your hands and want to follow me on Twitter — a micro-blog — click here. You’ll find (slightly) more personal posts, breaking news and lots of links.