On the December 20th edition of “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur” on Current TV, former Vanguard correspondent Laura Ling and producer Euna Lee, who were arrested and held for five months in North Korea in 2009 (they were released following a diplomatic trip to the country by former President Bill Clinton), joined host Cenk Uygur to talk about that country’s future and transfer of power.
Ling also speculated on the future of the country, noting, “The question is, will there be a North Korean Spring or something similar? The average North Korean doesn’t have access to Twitter, doesn’t know what Facebook is. But the border with China is quite porous. People are smuggled out of the country, and information does get smuggled into the country. People are being allowed to have cell phones, though those are just to make calls within the country. Information is slowly starting to seep in.”

Laura Ling on weeping North Koreans: ‘There’s such an intense level of fear’

Laura Ling and Euna Lee join Cenk to talk about the death of Kim Jong Il. The two journalists, who were held captive for five months while reporting for Current TV, say their time in prison there helps them understand the lifelong indoctrination many North Koreans experienced. “There’s such an intense level of fear,” Laura explains. “Even if they do believe differently, people are hesitant to say that.” Of news images showing North Koreans weeping over the death of their “Dear Leader,” Euna says, “Sometimes when you same the same thing over and over, when you hear the same thing over and over, it becomes true, whether you believe it or not.” And it’s still unclear whether Kim’s son will hold onto that power. “There hasn’t been enough time for that propaganda around [Kim Jong Un] to really reach a fever pitch,” Laura points out. “It will be interesting to see what the people believe about him.”

Cenk: Republican establishment ‘desperate to disqualify Ron Paul for any reason’

Ron Paul is No. 1 in Iowa — but though Cenk says, “I’m not necessarily a Ron Paul supporter,” he points out that no one is more threatened by Paul’s killer poll numbers than the GOP establishment. “Fox News and the rest of the conservative establishment and the Republicans are desperate to disqualify Ron Paul for any reason,” Cenk says. “It’s because he might end the corruption in Washington, and those guys feed off, and live on that corruption.”

Hedge fund managers meet in secret with lawmakers, make a killing with inside info

Not only are employees of big banks making an obscene amount of money — the CEO of JP Morgan earned more than $10,000 an hour in 2011 — a new “Wall Street Journal” piece reveals that hedge fund managers are meeting secretly with lawmakers before announcing the details of bills.

Post-show recap: Cenk and Ana on Manning, Egypt and North Korea

In this exclusive post-show clip, Cenk and Ana Kasparian talk about Newt Gingrich’s endorsement by a dating site for married people and a Bradley Manning supporter whose computer was seized by TSA and the women’s march in Egypt. One viewer asks, “Does anyone think we don’t have the same kind of monsters in our military?” And Cenk agrees, “The reason you don’t give dictatorial power to government is they might end up abusing it.” Of Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s experience in North Korea, Cenk says, “That is unbelievable courage.”

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