On August 4, 2009, former President Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea to negotiate Laura and Euna's release. Laura says she first heard of his presence when walking down a hallway. "It was surreal," she says. "I was walking down a hallway with dozens of North Korean security agents, and I see this bald American with an earpiece, [a] Secret Service agent, and I just felt the presence of my country." 

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Laura and Euna were ushered into a room where they saw President Clinton. "The doors opened, and there he was," Laura says. "[It] felt like it was this angelic figure that had come to save us." Laura says the president looked stoic and extremely serious. "When we first saw each other, he was so fatherly and concerned. He wanted to make sure that we were okay," she says. "He said, 'God bless you.'"

"I said to him: 'President Clinton, we've apologized for what we've done. I hope that you can do the same and apologize on our behalf,'" she says. "He said: 'That's been done. I still have a little bit more work to do, but I hope and I believe that you will be on that plane with us tomorrow.'"


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