Laura Ling and Oprah
In a secret trial held on June 4, 2009, Laura and Euna were found guilty and were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. "I was petrified," Laura says. "I had tried to prepare myself for a long sentence. I told myself this could be long. But once I heard those words, '12 years,' come from the judge, I could barely stand up straight."

The judge also told Laura there would be no forgiveness and no appeal allowed. "That's what really cut into me, because I thought, 'Could any chance of my family or my government or anybody interacting be over now if they say no forgiveness?'" she says.

Laura says she spiraled into a deep depression. "I refused my meals, and I just kind of huddled into a dark corner of the room for quite a while," she says.

When she was first taken, Laura also thought she might be pregnant. "Iain, my husband and I, had started to try to have a family right before I left," she says. "I kind of wanted to be pregnant ... because I thought that maybe I would be less alone and I would have a child there with me. And I also thought perhaps if I was pregnant, maybe this child was meant to save us and the North Koreans would have compassion and let us go."

As it turns out, Laura was not. "That just crushed me because I thought, 'I will never be able to have a family with my husband again.'"

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


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