China defends halting news conference

THE BALTIMORE SUN

BEIJING - A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday that South Korean lawmakers visiting China had no right to hold a news conference about North Korean refugees, defending the actions of a group of presumed Chinese agents who broke up the meeting between legislators and reporters at a Beijing hotel.

According to various accounts, four South Korean legislators were holding a news conference for about 40 foreign reporters Wednesday at the Great Wall Sheraton Hotel when about a dozen security agents invaded the room, turned off the lights, shut down the microphone and demanded that everyone leave.

There were reports of pushing and shoving, and a standoff with the legislators ensued for hours.

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