Chinese authorities released a group of South Korean journalists and others who were detained early last week while on a reporting trip near the Chinese border with North Korea, a foreign ministry official in Seoul said Thursday.
The five-member team dispatched by Seoul’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper was released on Saturday and then arrived in South Korea this week, foreign ministry spokeswoman Rhyou Bok-ryeol said.
“To my knowledge, they returned home early this week,” Rhyou said, declining to elaborate further.
They had been questioned by Chinese authorities because they traveled to the border area with tourist visas, ministry officials said earlier. Beijing requires foreign reporters to receive journalist visas if they visit the country for the purpose of reporting.
The South Korean team was ordered to stay in a hotel for about four days for questioning and their detention was not formal, foreign ministry officials said.
In a statement on Thursday, the foreign ministry advised media companies that their reporters must obtain journalist visas if they enter China for reporting purposes.