China denies US scribes held by N Korea on its soil

China has denied that two US reporters jailed for illegally entering N Korea were caught on Chinese soil.

Updated: Sep 03, 2009, 16:33 PM IST

Beijing: China today denied that two US
television reporters jailed for illegally entering North Korea
were caught on Chinese soil and then dragged into the
Stalinist state, as the pair said this week.

"According to the understanding of competent authorities,
they did not find the situation as you described it," foreign
ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters in response to a
question on the comments by the journalists.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years hard
labor by North Korea before being freed as part of a
diplomatic mission spearheaded by former US president Bill
Clinton last month.

In a lengthy statement posted on the website of the
pair`s employers, Current TV, Lee and Ling said North Korean
troops abducted them after they briefly crossed the border on
March 17.

"We didn`t spend more than a minute on North Korean soil
before turning back... We were firmly back inside China when
the soldiers apprehended us," said the women, who had been
working on a story about human trafficking.

Bureau Report