First read: Euna Lee's story from North Korea

glamoureuna-lee-laura-ling_.jpgCurrent TV producer Euna Lee's book on her and Laura Ling's captivity in North Korea is coming this month from Broadway Books. Here's a snippet from the excerpt online of "The World is Bigger Now: An American Journalist’s Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness."

As the soldier pulled me toward North Korean territory, I suddenly remembered that I had telephone numbers writ- ten on a piece of paper in my coat pocket. It was information that, if it fell into North Korean hands, could endanger many people in China and South Korea. So I slipped my arms out of my coat—a warm winter coat my mother had just given me a few days earlier, in Seoul—and left it on the ice. The guard didn’t miss a beat, just shifting his grip to my arms and continuing to pull me across the river. Behind us, the other soldier was dragging Laura by her arms, too.

At some point, I came to the terrible realization that there was absolutely no one around who could help us. Mitch was gone, the guide was gone, and we were now more than half- way across the river to North Korea. Exhausted, bruised, and scared, I said to the soldier, “Okay, okay, I’ll go! Please don’t drag me anymore.”

I looked back to where the other soldier was holding Laura and was alarmed to see she was lying facedown on the ice. “Laura!” I yelled. “Are you okay? Wake up!” She lifted her head slowly, seemingly in a daze, and I saw to my horror that blood was streaming down one side of her face. Because we had crossed the line into North Korean territory, my soldier was calmer now, and he waited for his compatriot to drag Laura to where we stood. It was agony watching her being dragged like a rag doll across the ice.

They were released in August, 2009 after being held for nearly five months and sentenced to twelve years of hard labor. Ling's book with her sister, the TV journalist Lisa Ling, came out earlier this year. The Lings promoted "Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home" pretty widely, including on "Oprah."

Previously on LA Observed:
Euna Lee signs book deal
Ling and Lee make statement
'Enroute to Los Angeles:' Ling and Lee
Laura Ling and Euna Lee chronology

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