Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) August 28, 2009 -- Human rights advocates of South Korea and Christian pastors are blaming the two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, for thoughtlessly jeopardizing the very people they were supposed to be filming a documentary about. The journalists have just completed five months in custody in North Korea.
Material collected by the journalists before their arrest, ended up in the wrong hands. People dedicated to getting people out of North Korea, had their identities compromised.
The journalists were said to be covering a story concerning the trafficking of North Korean women into China, as brides. However, this accidentally included covering refugee women and children who had escaped from the rigours of North Korea.
Rev. Lee Chan-Woo, a South Korean pastor spoke about police raiding his home in China where the journalists had visited. The journalists had filmed a secret location where Chan-Woo was looking after North Korean refugee women. Just four days after the journalists were arrested, Chan-Woo was deported and his five houses closed. He says the children were dispersed to families in China, who do not have ability to take care of them.
"The Chinese cited scenes from films confiscated from the journalists, when they interrogated me. The reporters visited our place with a noble cause. I did everything I could to help them. How they could be so careless in handling their material. They should have known that if they were caught, they would suffer for sure, but also many others would be hurt because of them" said 20 year old Lee aged.
After news of the journalistâs arrest was released two refugee women fled from the area. They were afraid of being repatriated to North Korea and sent to labour camps. Surprisingly Al Gore and his television channel remain silent on the issue. It is estimated however, that when the journalists break their silence, their account of the events will be different from that of the pastor.
Around 20,000 North Korean refugees have been shuttled through China, mainly to South Korea. Some of the groups doing the work do it through political motivation, while others want to turn North Koreans to Christianity.
Lee said the American journalists requested to visit one of the secret houses where he had 20 children, aged between 5 to 13 years old. They belonged to families of North Korean women who had been enticed by human traffickers, with promises of food, before being sold to Chinese men. Lee had requested that the faces of the children and women not be filmed, but this request was ignored. Lee said, "After they left the children told me excitedly about being filmed".
Those who have knowledge of the dangers of the China-North Korea border claim the journalistsâ venture was foolhardy.
"I had to suspend my trips and work because of the tension created by the episode", protested a human rights official in Seoul, who normally travels anonymously into China to interview North Korean refugees. ### Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys and her husband are CEO's of YouMe Support Foundation ([http://youmesupport.org]) provide high school education grants for children who are without hope. You can help in this really great project by taking a few minutes to check it the Tropical Island Treasure Chest at Win a Resort ([http://winaresort.com]) It really will change your life. Feel free to contact Wendy on firstname.lastname@example.org