The two U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee released from North Korea arrived at home on Wednesday accompanied with the former President Bill Clinton who secured their release in a meeting with the reclusive state's leader Kim Jong-il.
Laura Ling and Euna Lee arrived in Burbank airport CA, where Ling told reporters that the past 140 days have been the most difficult heart-wrenching times of our lives.
We feared that at any moment we could be sent to a hard labor camp and suddenly we were told we were going to a meeting and we were taken to a location and we walked through the doors we saw standing before us, [former] President Bill Clinton, she recalled.
We were shocked. But we knew instantly in our heart that the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end and now we stand here home and free, she continued.
She said that after nearly five months away, she and Euna just wanted to spend quality time with their families. We are so anxious right now to spend some quiet private time to get reacquainted with our families.
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the U.S. government extraordinarily relieved over the release of two American journalists from North Korea.
The reunion we've all seen on television, I think, is a source of happiness not only for the families but also for the entire country, Obama said at White House before leaving on a trip to Indiana.
Laura Ling was born in Carmichael, California, United States on December 1, 1976. She is a Chinese-American journalist working as Current TV’s managing editor of Vanguard.
Laura Ling and her fellow journalist Euna Lee have been detained by North Korea after an allegedly attempt of filming refugees besides the border of China and North Korea since March 18, 2009.
North Korea sentenced them to labor prison on June 8 for 12 years for trying to enter illegally from China into the North Korea.