N. Korea Details Journos' 'Criminal Acts'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 16, 2009 7:23 AM CDT
In this June 8, 2009 file photo, a South Korean man watches a TV broadcasting news about two American journalists detained in North Korea at the Seoul Railway Station, in South Korea.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Two American journalists sentenced in Pyongyang last week to 12 years' hard labor were detained in North Korean territory after crossing into the country illegally, state-run media said today, providing the first details about the circumstances of their arrest. Laura Ling and Euna Lee "admitted and accepted" their punishment of 12 years' hard labor for committing politically motivated "criminal acts," the report said.

"The accused admitted that what they did were criminal acts committed, prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies at it," it said. The families of both women claim Lee, 36, and Ling, 32, had no intention of crossing into North Korea.