Published August 09, 2009
| Sunday Times
Christian activists who work on the North Korean border believe two American television reporters may have walked into a trap when they were detained in March and say their arrests led to a crackdown on refugees.
The reporters, who were sentenced to 12 years’ hard labor, were on assignment for Current TV, a venture set up by Al Gore, Clinton’s former vice-president, which aims to specialize in “cutting edge” news.
Mitchell Koss, 56, a television producer, and Kim Seong-chol, a Chinese-Korean guide, both escaped and were reportedly detained by Chinese police.
“There is a strong suspicion that he [the guide] was heavily involved and it was a trap,” said an experienced activist who has led dozens of refugees to safety. There has been no word of Kim.
Such suspicions are bolstered by a first-hand account given to The Sunday Times by an American missionary who was warned by Chinese police a month earlier that the North Koreans were trying to capture a foreign journalist.