Two American TV journalists and their guide were taken into custody by North Korea while shooting video near the sensitive border region between China and the isolated state, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Laura Ling and Euna Lee were on assignment with San Francisco-based Current TV when they were seized Tuesday. The guide, whose name was not released, is a Chinese citizen.
Their detention was confirmed by activists who had helped arrange the reporting trip. The pair had been near the northeastern Chinese city of Yanji. It was unclear whether the Americans were on the Chinese or the North Korean side of theborder, which is marked by two rivers, the Yalu and the Tumen. Near Yanji, the Tumen is shallow enough at some stretches that people can wade through or walk across on winter ice, making for an active cross-border trade of smugglers, human traffickers and defectors.
"It is certain that the North Koreans have them," Chun Ki-won, a South Korean pastor who spoke to the journalists by cell phone at 6 a.m. Tuesday, about an hour before their capture was quoted by the Times as saying. "They must have gone in too close, where it was dangerous. I don't think the North Koreans would have dared to come out into China to kidnap Americans."