The Tumen River
Photo: Current TV
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Though they were reporting on North Korean defectors, Laura says she and Euna never intended to cross into North Korea. Laura says her team had hired a local guide to show them the Tumen River, which many North Koreans use to escape. "He knew the area well," Laura says. "He was very cautious up until that moment."

The river was frozen, and Laura says the guide led them onto the ice to get pictures of the area. "We had stepped foot on the river, just like these North Koreans do to cross," Laura says. "And our guide continued to walk closer and closer to North Korea."

Laura says the guide motioned for them to follow. "There are no signs saying, 'No trespassing.'There's no barbed wire. There's no fence. There were no guards in sight," Laura says. "But, of course, we did know that as you're crossing the river, you're getting closer and closer to the other side."

Laura says they eventually walked onto North Korean soil. "Our guide pointed out a village off in the distance and he said, 'That is where they have safe houses where these defectors stay until they're ready to be smuggled over,'" she says. "We were there for no more than a minute when we said, 'We've got to get out of here.' And we turned back."

FROM: Held Captive for 140 Days: Lisa Ling's Sister Breaks Her Silence
Published on May 18, 2010

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