China releases South Korean journalists

The South Korean journalists were detained last week on a reporting trip near the sensitive border with North Korea.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2011, 11:50 AM IST

Beijing: China has released South Korean journalists who were detained last week on a reporting trip near the sensitive border with North Korea, Seoul`s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The five-member team sent by JoongAng Ilbo newspaper arrived in Seoul on Sunday, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

They were held by Chinese authorities for questioning after reportedly travelling to the Tumen River area in northeast China with tourist visas rather than journalist permits.

They had been ordered to stay in a hotel for about four days for questioning.
Two US journalists were arrested by North Korean border guards in the Tumen border area in March 2009 after briefly crossing the border into the North.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years` hard labour before being freed as part of a diplomatic mission spearheaded by former US president Bill Clinton in August that year.

Bureau Report