Freed Journalists Were “Violently Dragged” To North Korea

Sep. 2 2009, Published 12:40 p.m. ET

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Euna Lee and Laura Ling were released in August after being imprisoned in North Korea for months after crossing the border while reporting on the illegal sex trade industry. They recently spoke about the horrific experience, detailing the brutal way their captors came after them and how they were possibly tricked into captivity.

Although they barely spent “more than a minute” on North Korean soil before turning back, they were tracked down by soldiers. “We tried with all our might to cling to bushes, ground, anything that would keep us on Chinese soil, but we were no match for the determined soldiers,” they said in an article posted on Current TV’s web site. “They violently dragged us back across the ice to North Korea and marched us to a nearby army base, where we were detained. They were soon sentenced to twelve years of hard labor for trespassing and “hostile acts” against North Korea before being pardoned after a trip to Pyongyang by former President Bill Clinton (the women worked for Cliton’s vice president Al Gore at Current TV).

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"To this day, we still don't know if we were lured into a trap," the two wrote. "In retrospect, the guide behaved oddly, changing our starting point on the river at the last moment and donning a Chinese police overcoat for the crossing, measures we assumed were security precautions."

“We continue to cope with tremendous mental and emotional anguish, but we feel incredibly fortunate to be free and reunited with our families,” the two women said.



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