Relief

Journalists Land in L.A.

After being released from North Korean imprisonment Tuesday thanks to Bill Clinton's dramatic 20-hour visit to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, journalists Euna Lee, 36, and Laura Ling, 32, were reunited with their families at Burbank Airport outside of Los Angeles early Wednesday morning. Lee cried as she rushed down the plane stairs to her 5-year-old daughter Hannah. Clinton exited the plane moments later and hugged Al Gore, who founded the media company that Lee and Ling work for. During a statement to reporters, Ling spoke briefly of their rescue. "Thirty hours ago, Euna Lee and I were prisoners in North Korea. We feared that at any moment we could be prisoners in a hard-labor camp," she said, but "suddenly, we were told that we were going to a meeting." When they walked through the doors and saw Bill Clinton standing there, "We were shocked, but we knew instantly in our hearts that the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end." Gore also spoke at the press conference, saying, "To everybody who's played a part in this, we are so grateful." Later, President Obama remarked that he was "extraordinarily relieved" at their safe return.