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Two US journalists detained by N. Korea

Associated Press / March 20, 2009
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SEOUL - Two American journalists were missing yesterday after they were reportedly detained by North Korea for ignoring warnings to stop shooting footage of the country.

Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for Al Gore's online media outlet Current TV, were seized Tuesday along the Chinese-North Korean border, according to news reports. Their Chinese guide also was detained, although a third journalist with the group, Mitch Koss, apparently eluded capture.

US officials expressed concern to North Korean officials about the reported detentions and said they were working with the Chinese government to ascertain the Americans' whereabouts.

"When you have two American citizens who are being held against their will, we want to find out all the facts and gain their release," State Department spokesman Robert A. Wood said.

US officials were in contact with Swedish diplomats in North Korea. Sweden's ambassador to Pyongyang, Mats Foyer, refused to say in whether negotiations for the Americans' release were under way. Because the United States does not have direct relations with North Korea, Sweden acts as its representative.

Ling is a sister of Lisa Ling, a former co-host of the American TV talk show "The View" and now a contributing correspondent for Explorer.

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