Korean photographer's imprisonment raised in bilateral talks, CPJ calls for his immediate release
Seok's imprisonment is a matter of international concern and was raised this week during high-level talks between South Korean and Chinese officials. South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young Kwan made a formal request to his Chinese counterpart, Minister Li Zhaoxing, asking the government to release Seok. This request was made on the sidelines of South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun's state visit to Beijing, where talks have centred on North Korea.
On 18 January, Chinese authorities arrested Seok in Yantai, Shandong, while he was photographing North Korean refugees attempting to board two fishing boats bound for South Korea and Japan. Seok was documenting the boatlift operation as a part of a journalistic project, according to colleagues and friends who had spoken to him before he left for China.
CPJ believes Seok is still being held in Yantai Prison while he awaits his appeal. Although he has had occasional access to legal counsel, he is not allowed to receive other visitors, including family members.