The husband of freed journalist Laura Ling said today it was “amazing” to have his wife back home after she and a fellow reporter were held prisoner in North Korea for about 140 days.
“Obviously it's a very emotional time and obviously it's been (a) very quick turnaround and as you heard her say, they weren't even aware that President Clinton was going to be there until he actually walked into the room,'' Ling's husband, Iain Clayton, told reporters outside the family's home in North Hollywood about three hours after the reporters' arrival in Burbank.
“So I think obviously that's emotional, and it's been a sort of roller coaster ride,” she said. “So at the moment now, she's just wanting to relax and take it easy. It was the best thing of my life to see her come down from the plane on the steps, it was just -- it was amazing.”
Ling's sister, Lisa, said, “We hadn't spoken with her in more than two weeks and the Swedish ambassador hadn't seen Laura and Euna in over a month. We had absolutely no idea of their physical condition or their mental condition, really, so to actually see them in person descending from those steps was just the most incredible feeling we've ever experienced.
“It's just been such a roller coaster ride and we're talking about a very unpredictable country, with which we have a very unpredictable relationship so we always maintained our hope. We knew in our hearts we would see Laura again. We just didn't know when and we are just thrilled beyond words that that day has finally arrived,” Lisa Ling said.
“She's just exhausted and as Iain has said, she's just gone through such a crazy mix of emotions over the last few days. Going from one day thinking they would end up in a labor camp very, very soon to President Clinton just appearing in their detention facility and now they're home, it's just been an overwhelming sense of emotion,” she said.
“My sister is an incredible journalist and an incredibly smart woman but to me she's my little sister, and not being able to communicate with her -- not being able to see her, touch her on a regular basis -- was devastation so being able to look into her eyes, her little face was absolutely indescribable.”