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August 7th, 2009
12:28 PM ET

Sister says Laura Ling is 'very, very weak'

(CNN) - Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee told Ling's sister they were treated humanely in North Korea, and they believe they weren't sent to hard-labor camps because they have medical conditions, Lisa Ling said Friday.

The sister, speaking on CNN's "American Morning," did not elaborate on the medical conditions, but said her sister will soon tell her story.

"Laura is eager to tell the story about what happened. I want to let her do so, but right now, she's really getting reacclimated. The processes are slow. She's very, very weak," Lisa Ling said, adding that the stories she's heard so far are "jaw-dropping."

Laura Ling and Lee were working for California-based Current TV, a media venture of former Vice President Al Gore, when they were arrested in March for crossing the border between China and North Korea.

Lisa Ling said that before they left the United States, the pair never intended to cross into North Korea. They have acknowledged that they briefly did, however, and they were convicted of entering the country illegally to conduct a "smear campaign" against the reclusive Communist state.

They were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, pardoned the women Tuesday after meeting with former President Bill Clinton. They arrived home the following day.

Filed under: North Korea
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    The two journalests Laura and Euna are precious individuals and more needs to be done to protect people like those two from Iran & North Korean terrorists who arrest foreigners over the slightest little (unintended) mishap and pile on the bogus charges. We need to do all we can to recover those who have been the victims of these narcocistic bullies in the North Korean and Iranian governments and work on a plan to dismantle any leverage to allow those governments to get away with such horrible acts on innocent humans. And we must not forgote the three hikers as well who suspiciously disappeared in Iran, and do what we can to assist those victims who protested the election results in Iran. They are horded into the courts like cattle, put through the "process" and automatically convicted of a crime that shouldn't be a crime. One should be able to protest without harrasment from the dictator and those behind his horrendous acts. He should have stepped down a long time ago, knowing that he was caught rigging the elections and lacked the guts to face up to his cowardly acts. Sarah

    August 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  2. solomon pungong

    hello Laura/ happy you are back with your family and the American people again;but can you do me a little favor by telling CNN and other republicans you were not held by a terrorist group but by a legitimate government of north Korea.may be this terrorism phobia can disappear amongst the American people.quand Ce trouts Ce lait

    August 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  3. Richard Larson

    The Gore organization has completely missed the boat in this circumstance. These ladies should have been immediately hospitalized where they would be afforded all the necessary treatment and counselling necessary for them to reintegrate back into society. They have been subjected to severe psychological stress and are in serious need of psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment, they appear to be malnourished, they very probably have intestinal parasites that require treatment, and although they want to be with their families, the stresses they are dealing with are not compatible with reintegrating with overanxious families especially children.

    I hold Al Gore personally responsible for this entire mess. What has his response been? Just standing there grinning like an idiot, absolutely relieved that his old boss stood up and did what needed to be done to undo the mess he has created. My God! how can that man approve a mission that would endanger the life of the mother os a 4 year old? The poor kid may never recover from this episode. Her mother needs a swift kick in the butt for going along on this junket. Journalists? My A#$! These women did what they did for the thrill of adventure. From now on, I would hope that my government would be a little more selective of who they rescue from richly deserved captivity.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  4. Hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Hey Laura/Euna, very glad you are back!

    BTW, given what you know now, would you do it again and what would you do differently? What advice would you have for other youths? Why so?

    August 7, 2009 at 7:27 pm |