The Obama administration says the two American journalists detained by North Korea should be viewed as "separate and apart" from the sanctions that have been imposed by the United Nations against the communist country for their recent nuclear missile tests. The United States envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice, called their situation "a humanitarian matter" and said the U.S. seeks the unconditional release of the journalists. When asked if North Korea views the detainment as a humanitarian matter as well, Rice said she didn't want to speculate on what the communist country thought.

 Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were captured by a North Korean patrol along the Chinese-North Korean border and have been held since March 17th for entering North Korea illegally.

Rice says everyone in the administration, including the president, is concerned for the two women. The detained journalists have been visited by third parties who say they appear to be in good health.