Fri, Apr 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker urges ministry to help captive journalist

By Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) yesterday said he would propose a resolution today urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help a Taiwanese-American held captive in North Korea.

Huang said Taiwan must do something to show its concern for the welfare of its people. Laura Ling (凌志美), a US citizen whose mother is a Taiwanese, and Euna Lee, a Korean-American — journalists from an online news outlet, Current TV — were arrested and detained by North Korean guards when they were filming a story on refugees on the border of North Korea and China on March 17.

According to a Central News Agency report, Ling's mother, Wang Mei-yan, is a native of Tainan and had served as the deputy head of the Formosa Association for Public Affairs office in Los Angeles.

When asked for comment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general Hsiao Ching-tien (蕭景田) yesterday said he agreed with Huang's proposal because Ling comes from Taiwan. But Hsiao added the KMT caucus had not reached a consensus on whether to take any action to offer assistance to Ling and her family.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs James Chang (章計平) said yesterday that the ministry had sent a letter to the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Relations Office in Washington as well as in Seoul to find out more about the case and discuss how Taiwan could help with the rescue effort.

Huang was still collecting signatures for the petition yesterday. He said he expected to complete the petition today.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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