Freed journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have broken their silence about their 140 days in captivity in North Korea.
On the morning of March 17, Ling and Lee crossed the border of China into North Korea for less than a minute, which turned their next five months into a living hell. A month after former president Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea and secured their release, the women have decided to share their story, under a joint byline in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times.
Ling and Lee traveled to China for Current TV to report on human trafficking and to interview those whom had defected from North Korea.
In the Times article, the pair recalls how a guide led them across a frozen river that constituted the border of North Korea. The journalists immediately turned back once they had crossed the ice bank, fearing for their safety. "We were firmly back inside China when the soldiers apprehended us," they write. "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."
Once in captivity, Ling and Lee destroyed evidence in their possession that would be damaging to their sources, whom they claim they never revealed during daily interrogation sessions.
Ling and Lee chose not to write about certain details of their captivity and interrogation, needing time to mend first. "Psychological wounds of imprisonment are slow to heal," they write.