Journalists Entered N. Korea: Sister

Laura Ling and Euna Lee veered off China's border into N. Korean territory

Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 4:33 AM CDT
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Laura Ling: We Could Feel Your Love

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Laura Ling, left, is hugged by sister Lisa.

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Laura Ling: We Could Feel Your Love

Laura Ling talks about the moment she and Euna Lee saw Bill Clinton waiting for them in North Korea.
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The two American journalists pardoned and freed by North Korea after more than two months in captivity did, in fact, cross the border into the rogue state illegally, the sister of one of the reporters said.

"Current" TV reporter Laura Ling confided to her sister, Lisa, that she and colleague Euna Lee "touched North Korean territory very, very briefly," Lisa Ling told CNN. She said her sister planned to write an editorial that would "share [her] powerful story." 

Their capture led to weeks of frantic diplomacy to free the reporters, who were sentenced to 12-years hard labor in the most reclusive and totalitarian state in the world. On Wednesday, ex-President Bill Clinton won Ling and Lee's release after an extraordinary appeal to the country's dictator, Kim Jong Il.     

"It was something that they were never planning to do originally," Lisa Ling said. "I mean, I said this before, when they left U.S. soil, they never intended to cross into North Korea. She said it was maybe 30 seconds. And then, you know, everything just sort of got chaotic."

Get More: New York Times, CNN

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