Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the American journalists held for nearly five months in North Korea, will finally break their silence on the season opener of Current TV's Vanguard, the documentary series they were on assignment for when they were picked up by a North Korean military patrol.
The installment, Captive in North Korea, will kick of the fourth season of Vanguard May 19.
The women were arrested by North Korean authorities in March 2009 when they wandered too close to the North Korean border with China. The half-hour documentary will feature footage of Ling and Lee's time in China, where they were working on a piece about North Korean refugee's fleeing into China. It will also include interviews with Ling and Lee as well as their producer Mitch Koss, who was in China with the women, but eluded the North Korean military patrol which captured Ling and Lee.
The women were convicted and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. They were finally released when former President Bill Clinton, who remains popular in North Korea, made a special trip to the country to secure their freedom - and pose for pictures with Kim Jong Il.
The documentary will also include recollections from Ling and Lee's colleagues at Current, who managed to maintain ongoing communication with them during their incarceration.
The Vanguard installment coincides with the release of Laura Ling's book, co-written with her sister Lisa Ling, a television correspondent who has done pieces for CNN and Oprah and was a host for National Geographic Channel's Explorer.
Somewhere Inside:One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home (HarperCollins) hits stores May 18. Expect the Ling's and Lee, who has her own book deal with Broadway Books, to make the talk show rounds in the days leading up to the Vanguard premiere. Laura Ling, who is expecting her first child, is no longer at Current TV. But Lee, who is an editor/producer, remains there.
Subsequent Vanguard installments include: Missionaries of Hate, about the rising influence of American evangelical groups on anti-gay laws, Rape on the Reservation, about a Native American reservation with an unusually high incidence of rape; and Soccer Slaves, about the increasing European demand for young West African soccer players that has spawned an underground industry of exploitation.
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