Laura Ling and Euna Lee said North Korean soldiers dragged them across the Chinese border. The statement also raises questions about whether their guide lured them into a trap.
In South, decisive tone of 'joint vision' is seen as sending a strong message to the North.
But the two women sentenced to 12 years in prison still face awful conditions. Their whereabouts since last week remain unknown.
A tougher stance toward Pyongyang may complicate efforts to negotiate the release of the two women, who were sentenced Monday to 12 years of hard labor.
Laura Ling and Euna Lee, nabbed along the Chinese-North Korean border, have become players in a much larger drama.
A documentary critical of the North, filmed by a family member of one of the journalists, could complicate their case.
Did the two women cross into North Korea, or did border guards lure them over?