Former co-host of The View, Lisa Ling, is hitting the press this week for the first time since her sister, Laura (pictured, right) and fellow Current TV journalist Euna Lee were detained by the North Korean government. Their trial's on June 4th, and things aren't looking good.
As we previously reported, nobody's really given a shit (or said anything) about Ling and Lee's detention for "hostile acts against the state" and "illegal entry." Not even the Al Gore-backed Current TV, whose employ they're under - the first item that's been tagged in regards to her imprisonment is here: it was user-submitted, and it's probably going to be removed in due course, either because they don't want to get involved or they were told by the Department of State to GTFO of this one.
Not wanting to aggravate the (notoriously touchy) North Korean government, Lisa Ling's laid low until now. But she's run out of options, with Pyongyang being virtually unresponsive other than allowing a Swedish diplomat limited access to both women. They're going on Today and Larry King Live, and they'll be meeting with Anderson Cooper, whatever that does. The statement Ling and Lee's families released together:
"We have been holding our breath everyday as we've watched the political situation on the Korean Peninsula grow increasingly tense. Our loved ones sit in the midst of it. We desperately urge the governments of the United States and North Korea to keep our issue separate from the larger geopolitical stand-off. We hope that our two countries can come together to secure the expeditious release of Laura and Euna on humanitarian grounds. Euna Lee is the mother of a four-year old daughter. And Laura was being treated for an ulcer prior to her departure, and in our limited communication with her we fear it has become more serious since her detainment and requires immediate medical attention."
They could be sentenced up to five years in a North Korean labor camp - the prospect of which only seems incredibly fucking terrifying - and the few commentators that were around for this when it started (incidentally, People, primarily among them) noted that North Korea had nothing to gain by keeping them around for more than a few weeks when they were first detained in March. Which was before North Korea got all nuke-horny and starting performing successful test launches. So: shit's about to get real. Prayers, fingers crossed, whatever for both Ling and Lee. Here's hoping for their safe return.