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2009/03/21 15:37 KST
(LEAD) N. Korea says it is holding, investigating two Americans

   SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's state news agency said Saturday that the country detained two Americans earlier this week and is investigating them for allegedly intruding into North Korean territory illegally.

   The Korea Central News Agency report, monitored in Seoul, said that authorities detained two Americans on March 17 while they were "illegally intruding the territory of the DPRK by crossing the DPRK-China border." DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

   The report came as two female reporters from Current TV, an American Internet outlet, were reportedly taken by North Korean soldiers along the Tumen River on the Chinese border while filming the North Korean side early this week.

   The brief report added that authorities were "investigating the case," but did not disclose the identities of the two detainees.

   Robert Wood, the U.S. State Department spokesman, said Thursday in Washington that authorities will contact North Korea and China to secure the release of the two journalists. The U.S. has no official diplomatic ties with North Korea amid rancor over the six-party denuclearization talks and threats of a missile launch.