North Korean military detains two American journalists

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Tumen River forms part of the border between China and North Korea.

The North Korean military has detained two American journalists after they allegedly crossed into North Korea from China by accident.

"Two reporters working for a U.S.-based Internet news media outlet, including a Korean-American, were detained by North Korean authorities earlier this week, and they remain in custody there," said Yonhap news agency, quoting an unnamed Korean official. Reports say that the journalists were both warned several times by the North Korean military, about crossing the border.

The two journalists are both female, Euna Lee a Korean-American and Laura Ling a Chinese-American, of Current TV based in California in the United States. Lee is the editor of the news for Current TV and Ling is one of the agency's reporters. They were said to have been shooting a video of the border region of China and N. Korea when they were arrested at the Tumen River.

The U.S. says they are concerned about the incident.

"We're aware of reports that early in the morning of March 17, China time, two American citizens were taken into custody across the Tumen river by what appear to be North Korean border guards. We are working with Chinese government officials in that particular area to ascertain the whereabouts and welfare of the Americans in question. We've also been in touch with North Korean officials to express our concern about the situation," said U.S. State Department spokesman, Fred Lash.