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South Korea Demands Release of 2 Men Detained in North Korea

A South Korean man watches a TV screen reporting about South Korean Kim Kuk Gi, left, and Choe Chun Gil detained in North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 27, 2015.

South Korea on Friday demanded the immediate release of two nationals arrested in North Korea on espionage charges.

North Korea announced late Thursday that it had arrested two South Korean men, identified as Kim Kuk-gi and Choe Chun-gil, last year in the Chinese border city of Dandong. State media said the two were working to smear North Korea.

The official Korean Central News Agency said the two took part in an anti-DPRK smear campaign organized by U.S. intelligence and the South Korean National Intelligence Service.

South Korea described the allegations as "groundless" and demanded that the two men be immediately released and repatriated.