Soldiers Cross China-North Korea Border, Detaining Two U.S. Reporters

March 21, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

Two Current TV reporters, Euna Lee (L) and Laura Ling (R) were detained by North Korean soldiers when conducting an interview near the Tumen River in China.  (YONHAP/AFP/Getty Images)
Two Current TV reporters, Euna Lee (L) and Laura Ling (R) were detained by North Korean soldiers when conducting an interview near the Tumen River in China. (YONHAP/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean authorities confirmed that two U.S. reporters were detained for entering North Korea through China.

The reporters, Euna Lee and Laura Ling were from Current TV. According to a report from South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, when the third Current TV crew and a Chinese guide went to rescue the two reporters, they were detained by frontier guards.

On March 21, North Korea’s KCNA reported that, “Two Americans were detained on March 17 because they illegally crossed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea/China border. A relevant department is now conducting an investigation into this case.” No further details were revealed about this investigation.

A YTN (South Korea) report, without giving a source, stated that North Korean soldiers ordered the two reporters to stop shooting footage from behind the Chinese border. After the reporters continued to keep shooting footage, the North Korean soldiers then crossed the border and detained them.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were reported to visit Yanji District in China to obtain footage for documentary called “Vanguard Journalism.” They interviewed North Korean women that fled North Korea because they were forced to perform in online pornographic video chatrooms.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling left South Korea on March 13 from Seoul, flying to Yanji, China. They planned to finish the interview in Yanji and Tumen City on March 17. Afterwards, they were to visit Dandong in Liaoning Province, China.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling work for Current TV, which is a TV station run by former Vice President Al Gore.

Read the original article in Chinese here.