Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, recently freed when former President Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea, have issued their first public account of their capture and imprisonment. Ling and Lee admit that they briefly stepped onto North Korean soil, but were back in China when North Korean border guards captured them and dragged them across the border.
In their brief public appearance on returning to the United States after 140 days of being held prisoner in North Korea, Ling and Lee had spoken only of being thankful to return home and thanked Clinton and the others who had worked for their release. They said they would comment later on what had happened.
They began to fill in those blanks with a description of their capture posted Wednesday on the website of Current, the cable TV network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. The two journalists had been working for Current on a documentary about human trafficking along North Korea’s border with China at the time they were nabbed by North Korean border guards.
Ling and Lee say they are uncertain whether or not they were led into a trap by their guide. The American women said they had no intention of crossing a frozen river into North Korea, but walked across when beckoned by their guide. “Feeling nervous about where we were, we quickly turned back toward China,” they wrote. The two journalists say they were back on Chinese soil when they were run down by the North Korean border guards and dragged into North Korea.