Surviving North Korea: Laura Ling's 140 Days in Captivity
Laura says her investigator also brought in a dossier on Lisa's 2006 visit. Lisa had entered the country legally with a medical delegation. "I had a visa in my passport," Lisa says. "I just didn't tell the North Korean officials that I was a journalist."
Laura says she tried to conceal Lisa's identity by giving them her married name. "I wanted to try to downplay everything, but they knew and they found out," Laura says. "[They] essentially said, 'Are you and your sister trying to overthrow the North Korean government?'"
Eventually, Laura told her interrogator what he wanted to hear—she was trying to overthrow the government. "I knew that that was the confession that they wanted to hear, and I was told: 'If you confess, there may be forgiveness. And if you're not frank, if you don't confess, then the worst could happen,'" she says. "It was the most difficult decision to have to do that. I didn't know if I was sealing my fate and could be sent out to a firing squad the next day. But I just had to trust that this was the right thing to do."