The two American journalists freed by North Korea have arrived safely back home. Euna Lee and Laura Ling were pardoned by Kim Jong-Il at the request of former US President Bill Clinton. The two women work for an American tv station co-founded by Clinton’s former Vice President Al Gore. They flew back to California aboard Clinton’s private jet. The White House said President Obama was enormously pleased to hear of their freedom.
“The past 140 days have been the most difficult and heart-wrenching time of our lives,” said Laura Ling. “We are very grateful that we were granted amnesty by the government of North Korea, and we are so happy to be home. We are just so anxious right now to be able to spend some quiet private time getting re-acquainted with our families. Thank you so much.”
Washington denied that former President Clinton was acting on behalf of the current administration, but it’s thought highly unlikely he would have made the trip without the tacit agreement of the White House.
Ling and Lee were arrested on the border between North Korea and China in March. They were accused of entering the reclusive state illegally, and sentenced to 12 years hard labour for what Pyongyang said were serious crimes.