Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CNN: Euna Lee and Laura Ling on American Soil

CNN is reporting that Euna Lee and Laura Ling have arrived in California aboard former President Bill Clinton's plane.

An aircraft carrying Clinton, Euna Lee and Laura Ling touched down shortly before 6 a.m. PT (9 a.m. ET) amid tight security at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank outside Los Angeles.

Crowds of dignitaries and journalists gathered for the arrival. The aircraft will be brought into a hangar for a scheduled news conference.

CNN also got some fresh reaction from the families and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Doug Ling, Laura Ling's father, reacted to the news of his daughter's release outside his home in Carmichael, California, saying it was "one of the best days in my life."

"I figured, sooner or later, they'd be back," he said.

In Los Angeles, family friend Welly Yang said the Lings had "done everything they could, while respecting the North Korean government, to try and get Laura home."

He predicted that Ling would remain a journalist. "Despite this terrifying experience, I can't imagine that Laura would give up her passion to tell stories that otherwise wouldn't be heard."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her relief that the two women were released. She spoke from Nairobi, Kenya, where she is taking part in a multination visit to Africa.

"I spoke to my husband on the airplane, and everything went well. We are extremely excited that they will be reunited soon when they touch down in California," she said. "It is just a good day to be able to see this happen."

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