China: Missing American Cameraman Has Left

A cameraman who was traveling with two American journalists reportedly detained in North Korea has left China, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

Mitch Koss, a cameraman for the San Francisco-based media outlet Current TV, was no longer in the country, spokesman Qin Gang told reporters at a regular briefing. He did not give any other details.

Koss had been traveling with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who also work for Current TV. State-run North Korean media have said border guards arrested the two on March 17 for "illegally intruding" from China.

The whereabouts of Koss were previously unknown.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing refused to comment on Koss's departure but said officials were "working to resolve the issue diplomatically."

A South Korean newspaper reported Tuesday that Ling and Lee were being held at private quarters run by the North Korean military intelligence agency on the outskirts of the capital, Pyongyang.

The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said they were being questioned by North Korean military intelligence officers for alleged espionage and that investigators were poring through their notebooks, videotapes and camera for signs they were spying on the North's military facilities.

Qin would only say that Ling and Lee "are not within the territory of China."