Journos: Koreans Grabbed Us on Chinese Soil

Laura Ling and Euna Lee describe their capture ordeal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2009 1:46 AM CDT
Laura Ling, left, and Euna Lee arrive at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., last month.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – The two American journalists detained for months in North Korea were on Chinese soil when they were seized by border guards, they write in Laura Ling and Euna Lee say they were reporting on the human trafficking of North Korean refugees in China when their guide briefly brought them across a frozen river onto North Korean soil. They turned back across the ice and returned to the Chinese side, but were pursued by armed guards who hauled them back over the river.

"We didn't spend more than a minute on North Korean soil before turning back, but it's a minute we deeply regret," they write. "To this day, we still don't know if we were lured into a trap." The two aren't willing to go into extensive detail about their time in captivity. "The psychological wounds of imprisonment are slow to heal," they write. Instead, they want attention to focus on the story they were reporting: the plight of North Korean defectors living in harsh conditions in China.