Stephen Bates and agencies

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Two American journalists arrested last week on the Chinese border have been transferred to the North Korean capital Pyongyang for interrogation, according to reports, as tension mounts over the North’s plans to test-fire a long-range rocket next week.

North Korea has warned the US and South Korea not to impede the launch, which it claims is for a peaceful satellite. “Countries like the US and Japan, which are taking issue with our … launch, are nations that have already fired satellites earlier than us,” said the statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. The stance proves “their hostility toward us”.

Following the border arrests, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper quoted an intelligence source who said: “We understand the two female reporters are staying at a guest house in the suburb of Pyongyang, overseen by the Security Command [the North's intelligence agency], and are being interrogated.”


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