Laura Ling
Laura and Euna were charged with illegal entry and hostile acts and transferred to North Korea's capital, Pyongyang. In the interrogation room, Laura says she was grilled about everything from her employer to her family. "One of the things that I was most fearful about was that he was questioning me and whether my company was connected to the U.S. government in any way or being bankrolled by the CIA. The chairman of Current TV is Vice President Al Gore," she says. "I had to convince them that we had nothing to do with the government."

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."

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


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