Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The investigative journalists who had no intention to cross into North Korea

So what do you think of all this talk about U.S. journalists being “lured into” and/or being “dragged into” North Korea?

In a column posted on the Los Angeles Times web site, Laura Ling and Euna Lee state they were seized by North Korean soldiers on Chinese soil, but acknowledged they did cross into North Korea. "We didn't spend more than a minute on North Korean soil before turning back, but it is a minute we deeply regret," they said.

The border between China and North Korea was not clearly marked, and it had no fences or barbed wire, they said.

Well, in real life -- unlike printed maps -- there are no distinct black dividing lines between countries, and especially in less-populated areas, frontiers are somewhat ambiguous. So this could part be plausible.

The account goes to say: Accompanied by a guide, the pair said they had been at the "frozen" Tumen River on March 17 separating China and North Korea "to document a well-used trafficking route."

"As the sun appeared over the horizon, our guide stepped onto the ice. We followed him," they said, referring to a Korean-Chinese man they said has worked for foreign journalists. A producer, Mitch Koss, was also with them.

According to their account, their guide apparently offered to show the journalists "the no-man's land along the river, where smugglers pay off guards to move human traffic from one country to another."

As investigative journalists, it seems the real question of credibility is where they state "When we set out, we had no intention of leaving China.”

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