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North Korea detains 2 U.S. journalists

The women, identified by South Korean media as Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were seized Tuesday for 'illegally intruding' after crossing the border from China.

March 22, 2009|Associated Press

The United States has contacted representatives of North Korea about two detained American journalists and is waiting for a reply, a U.S. official said Saturday.

North Korea confirmed earlier in the day that it detained the two Americans for "illegally intruding" in its territory after crossing the border from China.

Authorities are investigating the two women, who were seized Tuesday, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report. The journalists' cameraman and guide reportedly escaped but were later detained by Chinese border guards.

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

The two journalists, the cameraman and the guide were headed to the Chinese city of Yanji, across the border from North Korea's northeastern corner, according to the Rev. Chun Ki-won of the Seoul-based Durihana Mission, a Christian group that helps North Korean defectors. Chun helped the journalists organize the trip.

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