The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings

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LiberateLaura@gmail.com

Let’s Not Forget the Billionaire

One name that is conspicuously absent from the final chapters of Laura Ling and Lisa Ling‘s excellent new book Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, pseudonymously or otherwise, is that of octogenarian Hong Kong billionaire Eric Hotung. And yet, without his behind-the-scenes maneuvering, it is possible that the Bill Clinton happy ending would never have occurred.

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Filed under: Euna Lee, Laura Ling, Somewhere Inside

The Kindness of Mr. Yee

The most welcome gift in the thoroughly compelling new book Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home (Harper Collins, May 18th) is not the revelation of how a certain Hollywood movie star figured in the college education of one of Laura Ling‘s female guards, that Laura and her producer Mitch Koss first visited Pyongyang in 2002 (!), or that Lisa at a certain point had a preliminary phone conversation with a member of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Rather, it is the character of Mr. Yee, Laura‘s main interrogator.

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Filed under: Euna Lee, Laura Ling, Somewhere Inside

One Year Later

It began on March 17th, or 3/17, and ended with a dinner meeting between Kim Jong-il and Bill Clinton that was reported by KCNA to have lasted three hours and 17 minutes. But for me, the more intriguing coincidence to ponder on this first-year anniversary of Laura Ling, Euna Lee and Mitchell Koss‘ ill-fated expedition to the frozen Tumen River is the fact that it was on this same date a year earlier, in 2008, that Elliot Spitzer resigned as Governor of New York.

At the time, I wrote a humorous treatise about Spitzer‘s downfall that borrowed from the structure of a Dr. Seuss work. But it was a bittersweet missive, as I also felt that one of the brightest political lights on the east coast had been done in by his own recklessness. Thinking about Ling on this day, I am struck again by a similar feeling.

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Filed under: Commentary, Laura Ling

Winding Down the Year of the Ox

Those who pay attention to the Chinese calendar know that we are at the tail end (pun intended) of a Year of the Ox, which began January 26th, 2009 and ends February 14th, 2010. However, over the past few days, formerly imprisoned reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling have been doing their best to embrace a new year of the X-O-X-O-X-O.

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Filed under: Commentary, Euna Lee, Laura Ling

Robert Park’s Misguided Criticism

In an interview given to @Reuters by Robert Park shortly before he wandered across the North Korean border on Christmas Day (video of interview here), the Tucson, AZ Christian activist – who had previously been ministering to Hermit Kingdom refugees along the Chinese border – had harsh words for Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

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Filed under: Euna Lee, Laura Ling, Robert Park

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