North Korea Confirms It's Holding 2 US Reporters

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2009 10:12 AM CDT
In this Oct. 12, 2006, file photo, a North Korean soldier reacts to a photographer on a passing boat, on the waterfront at the North Korean town of Sinuiju.   (AP Photo/Greg Baker, File)
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(Newser) – North Korea today confirmed it is detaining two American journalists on charges of “illegally intruding” into the communist nation, the New York Times reports. The reporters, both from Al Gore’s Current TV station, were reporting along the river border between China and Korea when they were apprehended. “A competent organ is now investigating the case,” said the North’s official news agency.

Hillary Clinton began working to free the journalists yesterday, though the arrests hadn’t been confirmed until now. The circumstances of the arrest are still unclear. South Korean journalists who met them say the Current TV crew were crossing the mostly dry or frozen river when Korean guards, who often stay hidden in bunkers along the border, grabbed them. The two men in the group struggled free and ran back to China, while the women—Laura Ling and Euna Lee—were captured.