Current TV to air special about two staffers who were held captive in North Korea
Two journalists for Current TV who were captured by the North Koreans while on assignment last year will speak about the ordeal for the first time in a piece to air on the cable channel in May.
The network announced Sunday that Laura Ling and Euna Lee will tell their story in a 30-minute episode that will kick off the fourth season of the documentary series “Vanguard” on May 19. The journalists, both staffers for the series, were held captive by the North Koreans for more than four months after they briefly entered the country by crossing a frozen river at the Chinese border in March 2009. They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor before their pardon and release was negotiated with the help of former President Bill Clinton.
At the time of their capture, the women were working on a story about human trafficking. Their detention created a tense international incident that drew in top White House officials and sparked vigils around the country on their behalf.
The special, “Captive in North Korea,” features interviews with Ling, Lee and their producer, Mitch Koss, who have until now not spoken on camera about their experience. The episode¸ reported by fellow “Vanguard” correspondents Adam Yamaguchi and Mariana Van Zeller, will also include footage of their emotional reunion with their colleagues.
Laura Ling and with her sister, journalist Lisa Ling, have written a book about the experience, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home,” which comes out next month.
-- Matea Gold (Follow me on Twitter @mateagold)
Photo: Freed TV journalists Euna Lee, left, and Laura Ling greet their families at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank upon their return from North Korea in August 2009. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times