North Korea

Journalists: We Were Arrested in China

In a harrowing op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee describe their arrest and imprisonment in North Korea—and the story they were pursuing when it happened. The Americans say they crossed from China into North Korea for less than one minute while pursuing a story on human trafficking. As they returned, however, a pair of armed North Korean soldiers chased them on foot. "We were firmly back inside China when the soldiers apprehended us,” they write. “We tried with all our might to cling to bushes, ground, anything that would keep us on Chinese soil, but we were no match for the determined soldiers. They violently dragged us back..." At the beginning of their confinement, the pair "furtively destroyed evidence" by swallowing their notes and damaging videotapes. They protected their sources during interrogations, but note that "the psychological wounds of imprisonment are slow to heal," and encourage the public to pay attention to the trafficking story instead of the journalists' own story.