Related News

Home » World

North Korea says it holds 2 US reporters

TWO Americans were detained by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for illegally crossing its border and were under investigation, the DPRK's official news agency said yesterday.

The two female US journalists were arrested on March 17 "while illegally intruding into the territory of (North Korea) by crossing the North Korea-China border," the Korean Central News Agency said. The brief dispatch gave no further details.

South Korean media and a South Korean missionary identified the two Americans as Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former vice president Al Gore's San Francisco-based media outlet Current TV.

US State Department officials said Washington is in contact with North Korea about the two detained journalists.

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 'is engaged on this matter right now'," spokesman Robert A. Wood said. "There is a lot of diplomacy going on. There have been a number of contacts made." He did not elaborate.

The incident comes at a sensitive time on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea declaring its intention to fire a satellite-equipped rocket into space in early April - a launch some fear will be a cover for the test-fire of a long-range missile.

The North also earlier this week ordered out five US groups that distribute much-needed food aid in a country where the World Food Program says millions are going hungry.

The two reporters were in the border area with a male cameraman and their guide as part of a reporting assignment on North Korean refugees.

The journalists had gone to the Chinese city of Yanji, across the border from North Korea's far northeastern corner, where they planned to interview women forced by human traffickers to strip for online customers, according to the Reverend Chun Ki-won of the Seoul-based Durihana Mission, a Christian group that helps defectors.

Chun said Ling and Lee contacted him three months ago asking for help organizing a trip to China.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend