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'US journalists admit to smear campaign'

Two US journalists jailed in North Korea have admitted their part in a "smear campaign" against the country, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday.

world Updated: Jun 16, 2009 19:07 IST

Two US journalists jailed in North Korea have admitted their part in a "smear campaign" against the country, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday.

They entered the country illegally with the aim of making films to misrepresent North Korea's human rights policy, the report said.

North Korea's highest court has sentenced Euna Lee, 26, and Laura Ling, 32, to 12 years in a labour camp for what it described as "grave crimes against the Korean nation and illegal entry".

Neutral observers were not allowed to attend the trial.

The television journalists were arrested by North Korean soldiers in mid-March on the border with China.