Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s Homecoming
After five months, 4-year-old Hannah Lee will be reunited with her mother who she’s been separated from … since March
-Julie Ryan Evans
Today, reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee are due to arrive home from North Korea, where they have been held captive since being arrested in March for illegally entering the country.
For five months their future was grave and uncertain at best. Reports of notoriously deadly conditions in the country’s prison system and repeated denials of efforts to secure their freedom painted a gloomy future for the women.
Then, in a gallant, surprise move, former President Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea to request their freedom. Thankfully, it was granted, and the two are reportedly on their way home.
As a journalist, I’ve followed the story closely and emotionally. At one point in my career, I aspired to do dangerous, investigative pieces to seek out the truth. As a sister and a friend and wife, I ached for the women’s families who knew the frightening and dangerous reality of North Korea’s prisons. But it was a mother that I could barely read the headlines without getting choked up as I thought of Euna Lee’s little 4-year-old daughter Hanna at home while her mother faced 12 years of hard labor in a world so very far away.