Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the journalists who were imprisoned in North Korea for nearly five months, have released a statement about their ordeal. The piece is running as an Op-Ed in today’s LA Times and is on the Current TV website. This is the first time the women have spoken publicly about the details surrounding their capture along the border of China and North Korea:
When we set out, we had no intention of leaving China, but when our guide beckoned for us to follow him beyond the middle of the river, we did, eventually arriving at the riverbank on the North Korean side….
Feeling nervous about where we were, we quickly turned back toward China. Midway across the ice, we heard yelling. We looked back and saw two North Korean soldiers with rifles running toward us. Instinctively, we ran.
We were firmly back inside China when the soldiers apprehended us. Producer Mitch Koss and our guide were both able to outrun the border guards. We were not. We tried with all our might to cling to bushes, ground, anything that would keep us on Chinese soil, but we were no match for the determined soldiers. They violently dragged us back across the ice to North Korea and marched us to a nearby army base, where we were detained.
Ling and Lee were in China working on a story about human trafficking for Current TV, and they emphasize that this is a story that still needs to be told:
Many people have asked about our strength to endure such hardships and uncertainty. But our experiences pale when compared with the hardship facing so many people living in North Korea or as illegal immigrants in China.