For the first two months after Current TV reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling were captured by the North Koreans, their families and their San Francisco-based employer kept quiet in the hopes that diplomacy would result in their release. But now that Lee and Ling are scheduled to go on trial Thursday, their families hit the talk shows on Monday to plead for their release. Here’s the Washington Post’s account of their “Today” show appearance:
- Two months after their arrest, the families received letters relayed by the Swedish ambassador to the reclusive communist nation. Then out of the blue, a phone call last Tuesday — the first since the reporters vanished March 17 while on a trip near the Chinese-North Korean border.
“They were very scared; they’re very, very scared,” sister Lisa Ling, also a TV journalist who reported from North Korea in 2005, said Monday on NBC’s “Today” show. “You know, imagine, 11 o’clock, phone rings and I hear this little voice on the other end of the line saying, `Hi, Li, it’s me.'”
Breaking their silence, Ling’s sister, parents and husband appeared on the show alongside Lee’s husband and 4-year-old daughter to plead with North Korea for leniency and urge Pyongyang and Washington not to let the women become pawns in an increasingly tense geopolitical game.
A vigil is planned for Thursday, 6-8 p.m., on the front steps of San Francisco City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.
Above is a shot of family members of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee as they appeared on the “Today” show . From left: Lisa Ling, Iain Clayton, Douglas Ling, Michael Saldate, Hanna Saldate and Mary Ling. Photo credit: NBC Universal.