Two US Reporters Detained In North Korea

Posted Mar 19, 2009 by KJ Mullins
U.S. reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been arrested on the North Korea border. They were detained near the border of China after the two ignored orders to stop filming Korean refugees. The reporters were working on a report on their plight.
Kim Jung-il is Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea.
Kim Jung-il is Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea.
File photo
Youhap news agency spoke to the pair on Tuesday morning while they were in Yanji, China. Rev Chun said that they had planned to go to the border city of Dandong where many North Koreans attempt to escape to South Korea.
Rev Chun works for Seoul-based Durihana Mission that helps North Korean defectors hide in China and other Southeast Asian countries while they seek asylum in the United States and South Korea.
The LA Times reports:
"China is investigating the issue involving relevant U.S. nationals on the border between China and (North Korea)," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing.
Ling and Lee work for Current TV, a network co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Last year the station won an Emmy for the best interactive television news source.
Ling was sending updates to Twitter about the trip. On Saturday her message indicated that she knew that there was danger in where she and Lee were for their report.
"Hoping my kimchee breath will ward off all danger," she wrote.
In a post three days earlier, she wrote: "Spent the day interviewing young N. Koreans who escaped their country. Too many sad stories."
It's being reported by Reuters that the journalists were on the frozen Tumen river when taken by North Korean security guards. It's not certain if the two were in China or North Korea at the time of the arrest. North Korean guards have often crossed the border themselves making illegal arrests.Another man from the news group was with them was able to escape.
"It's difficult to comment on this matter because it involves a U.S. citizen, but our government is aware that a U.S. journalist is in detention in the North," the senior South Korean government official was quoted as saying.
Rev Chun had warned the reporters that is was very dangerous to go to the border and told them not to.