China denies US scribes held by N Korea on its soil
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 03, 2009, 16:33
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

First Published: Thursday, September 03, 2009, 16:33

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