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Laura Ling, Euna Lee Return Home To U.S.

Laura Ling, Euna Lee Return Home To U.S.

American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling arrive back to their families after being released by North Korean authorities yesterday.

“Thirty hours ago,” Laura said at a California airplane hangar. “Euna Lee and I were prisoners in North Korea. We feared that at any moment we would end up in a hard-labor camp. Then we were told that we were going to a meeting. We were taken to a location, and when we walked thought the doors, we saw standing before us President Bill Clinton. We were shocked, but we knew that the nightmare of our lives would soon be over.”

Laura and Euna, of San Francisco based Current TV, were both arrested by North Korea in March for illegally entering the country on the Chinese border and in June, were sentenced to 12 years in prison. Yesterday, they were pardoned by President Kim Jong-Il after a meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

Pictured below: Laura (sister of Lisa Ling, former co-host of The View) with husband Iain Clayton and Euna with her husband Michael Soldate and their daughter Hannah, 4.

50+ pictures inside of Laura Ling and Euna Lee returning home…

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Photos: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Shangri-La
Posted to: Bill Clinton, Euna Lee, Laura Ling, Lisa Ling

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  • facts

    Bill make like a BJ from someone other than his wife, but the dude has diplomatic mad skillz.

  • sweetie

    Great to see these ladies reunited with their families!
    Thank you, Mr. Clinton!

  • black

    As far as I´m concerned they don´t deserve any compassion. North Korea isn´t a place you just walk in that easily.

    And they sure as hell must have known.

    ——————Stay away next time—————————————

    (Still- good thing they got released)

  • wed mother

    While I’m very glad the two women are home, I am angry at them for their carelessness which put our entire nation into jeopardy and forced this humiliating diplomatic intervention by former Pres. Clinton.

    Their actions gave the mad dictator of North Korea just what he’d wanted, international attention and a groveling America, begging at his feet.

    Nice work ladies.

  • dani

    Glad they are home. BUT when will these journalists and adventure seekers learn that not all countries are lax in border crossings like Europe or the US? Now there are three people in an Iranian jail for the same offense. Duh, people, crossing borders into countries with military regimes isn’t exactly smart!

  • laura

    That image of Euna when she first sees her daughter’s face is heartbreaking. Keeping politics aside, I’m happy they are safe and home with their families.

  • blah

    Too bad some of hte past jouranlists did not have the same happy ending

  • great…

    what a responsible mother to jeapordize her safety in a country like North Korea when she has a girl that young. She could have very well not seen her mother until she’s like 16 or so!

    and @ dani… they probably knew, (come on… these are reporters) but thought that they could outsmart the Korean border control and thought the story was worth it!

  • Rhonda

    Glad they are home, congratulations to Bill Clinton, but what was the point. Journalist don’t “report” anything, so why bother with all this. How much did it cost to get these women back and we have three more in Iran.

    If were gonna throw granma and granpa under the bus I don’t see why we bother with useless journalist!

    send algore the bill!!!!!

  • FF

    It still isn’t clear whether those women had actually crossed the border into N. Korea or if they were snatched from across the border (meaning they were still on Chinese soil) to be used by the N. Korean government as political pawns. Glad they are home with their families.

  • Halli

    This is what diplomacy looks like.

    President Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. All working together for the greater good of these two women. Well done. Its nice to see cooler heads working for us again!

  • katie

    I’m glad they are home with their family n friends.

  • JENNIFER TANABE

    TOO BAD THAT LAURA LING WILL ALWAYS BEEN KNOWN AS LISA’S
    SISTER…IT IS SAD WHEN A FORMER PRESIDENT CAN GET THESE
    WOMAN HOME BUT THE PRESENT ONE DOES NOTHING…BUT TALK AFTER THEY COME HOME.. OBAMA DOES NOTHING BUT THE
    FRIENDSHIP THAT GORE AND CLINTON AND THAT HE IS WELL LIKED AROUND THE WORLD..

  • Halli

    I agree with some that the two women were careless. But that doesn’t mean they had to stay at a North Korean labor camp for 12 years! Its just like how the White House negotiated the release of that American woman who was held captive in Iran and charged with being a spy. Total b.s. Right now we have 3 Americans held captive in Iran. Iran is in ways, more hostile to the U.S. so it will be interesting if we can get those 3 hikers home. All and all. A good day for diplomacy.

  • Jake

    Someone tell Republicans that diplomacy is a tool to strengthen not weaken. Good day for the White House. Well done to The Clintons, Al Gore and President Obama for making this possible.

  • Blaire

    @JENNIFER TANABE:

    You’re an idiot. Who do you think was behind the scenes on this? Yep, it was President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. You don’t read newspapers do you?

  • tands

    Bill saved the day, but these two women should be ashamed of themselves. They put a strain on our already poor relations with the DPRK.

  • 16

    Obama did nothing. He is very useless.

  • Jake

    @Rhonda:

    Since you don’t follow the news. You should be glad to hear that a movie producer payed for the entire trip and the plane. So no tax payers money was used. Chill out.

  • good2c

    I am so happy for them and their families but i second most of what

    was said here so far and thats ….journalists everywhere please don’t

    be so stupid by playing superman and thinking you can get away with

    tresspassing and illegally obtaining information from dictatorial

    countries without any repercussions…..because it’s just asking for

    death wish……just plain a simple…..use the education you were given

    and be smart thats all…….

  • Kate

    The Obama administration played an integral role in all this and carefully negotiated for their release. That is why these women were released the same day Bill Clinton came, becuase the deal was already done. The would never send a former President to do this without any guarantees. So all those Obama haters will have to swallow their bitter partisanship for just a minute. This is a good thing.

  • Jake

    @16:

    Keep dreaming hater. The whole reason they were released was becuase of the efforts of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    Something like this happened when Clinton was President and they sent former President Jimmy Carter to North Korea. So this time they sent Bill. No way would a sitting President go into North Korea. Its still a very hostile nation.

    Good work on the Clintons, Obama and Al Gore.

  • mimilala

    Whatever the real facts are regarding the border crossing, these images are very sweet and made me cry. Bill Clinton is just simply THE MAN! Whatever his human flaws may be, his strengths and virtues amaze me.

  • Matt

    Wonderful news.

    My only beef is – of course, they’d send their thanks out to Obama and Clinton….but what about the North Korean people who protested and supported their release? Where are their thank you’s?!….

  • bobbi

    For the love of God, having these two women in their homeland regardless of how they were brought home is priceless. Seeing that mother and daughter reunion brought tears to my eyes.

  • Lalique

    @JENNIFER TANABE: If you think Bill Clinton got the two journalists freed by himself, you are incredibly naive.

  • Lalique

    @Jake: Very well said!

  • voe

    Bill said this is a private effort? Then please publish the people paying for the cost of his trip and these women’s home. Is it Gore since it is his company the women are working for? Is it Bill? The women’s families?
    .
    Having lived under communist’ politic then here for decades, I can now say both systems have the same BS. The only difference is the other system would never pay the country’s respect and money (made up of millions of people’s) for a few foolish, fame seeking individuals. As a tax paying citizen I resent having to foot the bill for their adventure.
    .
    As for the poster saying they might be arrested on China’s soil. Is your brain working? Would American police arrest someone on Mexican’s soil without permission from the Mexican authority? Are you suggesting that China is in this?
    .
    I am sure if I were to snoop around the fence of their houses here, they would call the police and I would be in jail. My family would have to fork out thousands of dollar to pay lawyer to prove my innocence.
    That they could get all this from the government for snooping around other countries so they could get juices for their report in the US is ridiculous.
    .
    I sincerely hope they have learned their lessons but I doubt it.
    .

  • Glenn

    This release was Hillary’s brainchild and once again, her husband upstages her… yet again.

    Good work from the Obama Admin. for making this possible.

  • Rhonda

    @Jake:

    Our we now going to be blessed with a movie of these two “reporters” violating another countries borders and what is the unknown price we paid for the little princess journalist.

    What are they gonna report, getting captured?

  • marie

    Can’t we stop with all the political party bashing. Both parties are guilty of that right now over everything and it’s getting old.

  • Jake

    @voe:

    What is wrong with you right wing freaks. Any time Democrats are successfully you have to find a way to whine. A movie producer payed for the trip, you can look tha up anywhere. I just heard it on ABC this morning. The Obama admin did all the negotiations before hand, so Bill only had to stay in North Korea for 4 hours, so no wasted money there, okay? So chill the hell out. You people are unhinged!

  • marie

    @Jake, democrats and republicans are both unhinged.

  • bella

    At least this story had a happy ending. Unlike most journalist who are held for years or worse yet killed.
    There little girl is adorable!

  • JENNIFER TANABE

    LALIQUE ..WHY WASN’T HILARY WITH BILL ON THIS JOURNEY IF
    SHE AND THE PRESIDENT DID IT TOGETHER.. WHY GIVE HER
    HUSBAN CREDIT..WHY NOT HAVE HER GREET THE WOMAN AT
    THE AIRPORT..SINCE IT WAS HER THAT DID IT..I DID NOT MEAN TO
    SAY THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA DIDN’T DO ANYTHING HIS ADMINISTRATION DID…

    A NEW LAW SAYING THAT IT IS O.K TO BREAK THE LAW AND SNEAK
    INTO A FORIEGN COUNTRY KNOWING THAT YOUR COUNTRY WILL
    GET YOU BACK HOME.. SO CLINTON GET BACK ON THE PLANE AND
    GET THOSE 3 CAPTIVES IN IRAN HOME… HILARY BETTER GET TO
    WORK

  • Lauren

    Good work to all those involved in the negotiations.

  • SANS

    So happy for the women.

  • joanne

    i’m glad they’re back home with family

  • Lauren

    @JENNIFER TANABE:

    Jennifer, the reason why Hillary and President Obama did not show up to greet them is because this is what they call backdoor diplomacy.

    Those truly in power right now (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama) were the ones who negotiated the deal, I just read about it. So good for them. But Hillary has been a great S.O.S and negotiated the release of that NPR journalist in Iran. This is the reason why diplomacy is important. Either way… we should NOT make this political and just be happy they are brought home.

  • JENNIFER TANABE

    THANK YOU LAUREN FOR ENLIGHTENING ME ON THE POLITICS
    OF BEHIND THE SCENE THE COVERAGE…

  • zk

    I’d like to comment on how Obama, by doing this, has demonstrated the effectiveness of DIPLOMACY. See how that works?!?

    Remember the last 8 yrs under Bush……he refused to engage any discussion with so-called enemies.

    Obama is SO much better for the U.S and the world, by opening up a dialogue with these people and finding you can attract more bees with honey.

    Well done Mr. Presidents (both Bill and Barack)

  • i n f a m o u s l y c o o l

    now these idiots are famous. hahahahahahahaha.. damn the media.

  • Rhonda

    AlGore gotta them into it and Clinton got them out. So what if the good old USA had to do more ass kissing of a tyrant! They are just STOOOPID women that got used. I’m glad they are back, but don’t try to make it more than it is.

    Congratulations to Bill Clinton, JOURNALIST, leave the journalism to the real deals at the national enquirer

  • deidre

    Thank you for posting these amazing photos! G-d bless them and thank you N Korea for releasing them.

  • Autumn

    This is probably he most important NEWS worthy item to be posted on this site. Thank goodness Laura & Euna were released safely and w/o harm after being detained for as long as they were.

  • Buckley

    Everyone wins in this situation.
    Clinton looks good.
    The girls are home.
    and that loony over there comes out looking less crazy and like a humanitarian, which he crearly isn’t.

  • shamrock

    @bobbi:

    I’m in full agreement with you Bobbi!!! The face of the Mother laying her eyes on her daughter for the first time in months, is breathtaking and very emotional. Tears were flowing!

    We should be very happy to see such GOOD NEWS today!!! Our country, has gone forward to a Communist country, with extreme measures to deliver these two lady journalists back home. OUTSTANDING!!!

    Appreciation and gratitude should go to all the people that have been involved in this process to have these lovely ladies released from a horrific situation. Peace~

  • mslola

    “Thanks to President Clinton and his “supercool” team”. We are so happy these bright light bulbs are home and so glad they enjoyed the “supercool” team, thats whats important. The “supercool” Their words, not mine!

  • angie

    im glad they were safely returned home to their families. let’s hope that they don’t make the same mistake twice

  • bintk

    I’m happy for her and and family.

    http://www.IGotConverse.com

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