Catch and Release: Journalists on the North Korean-Chinese Border
In the long aftermath of the Laura Ling-Euna Lee fiasco, SinoNK.com may be featuring a couple of posts looking back at the memoirs of the two main participants, since notes on their decidedly mixed oeuvre exist, await typing and more thought (presuming that the thought precedes the typing). The Oprah-NK demographic, after all, is one that we covet. But for the time being, since recent scuttlebutt demands it, a bit of context on the notion of Western journalists being forbidden from borderlands trips, by Jende Huang, SinoNK’s Borderland Security Analyst. — Editor
21 Sept 2011 – A group of journalists with the JoongAng Ilbo’s soon to be launched cable channel are caught in a Chinese military zone in the Tumen river basin. They are carrying tourist visas, not press ones, and are arrested and charged with espionage. Reporters Without Borders notes it is four journalists, one member of a Korean transport research center and a local guide.
29 Sept 2011 – According to the New York Times, it is three journalists from the JoongAng Ilbo, and two researchers from the Korea Transport Institute who are released after their week-long detention at a Chinese hotel.
23 Dec 2011 – The Chosun Ilbo reports that hotels on the Sino-DPRK border were searched by Chinese security officials in search of journalists. Though faced with minor harassment (temporary detainment, deletion of photos), no reporters were arrested.