August 5th, 2009
05:52 PM ET

Photo gallery: Laura Ling and Euna Lee return home

Editor's Note: After 140 days in North Korean captivity, journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee arrived home in California today. Former President Bill Clinton traveled to Pyongyang earlier this week to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who decided to pardon the two women yesterday. For the latest on the two journalist's return, tune in AC360° tonight at 10p ET.


Laura Ling and Euna Lee walk off the plane in Burbank, California.

Laura Ling hugs her husband Iain Clayton.

Euna Lee embraces husband Michael Saldate and daughter Hana Saldate.

Former President Bill Clinton hugs his former Vice-president Al Gore after deboarding the plane.

Laura Ling gets a kiss from her mother Mary Ling as Lisa Ling, who is also a journalist, reacts to her sister's arrival.

Laura Ling speaks to the crowd as the two families as well as former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and other officials look on.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore talk with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee and their families.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • North Korea
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Agda

    So glad these two corageous women are back home safe with their families! God bless them as well as Pres. Clinton, VP Gore, Pres. Obama and all others who were involved in the women's release.

    I don't get how people can criticize what was accomplished by them. They just proved that diplomacy and dialogue can be a better solution than bombs!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  2. bbean

    i was very glad to see the 2 women home in the USA, and you gotta love Bill for his charming ways to bring them home SAFELY!!!!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  3. Sue De Blaey

    Can't we just be happy that the women are back here? Why do people have to read too much into this? This should be a happy time for the families. I for one have been following this ever since it was on the news. I know they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want to know that they are safe and with their loved ones. I'm sure when they are ready they will share with "us" what they went through. Untill then, PLEASE leave them ALONE!!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  4. Oscar , Panama

    Do you only allow comments in line what your own thinking? Just because I say these journalists crossed ilegally, you erased? Isnt true they crossed to NK playing stupid and just looking for a good article? well, they got one, maybe disproportionate but got it, for sure.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  5. Wanda

    I am a Canadian and I have to say that what Bill Clinton and Al Gore done, was beyond what any man in political power could do. He brought home two very special and brave journalists, to reunite with their loved ones in waiting.. As well as all American, Canadians watched their homecoming with heart wrenching tears, as these two ladies were welcomed with open arms, back onto American soil. For these past five months, they were held from their families, to find, after all, they are finally home to rebuild their lives in harmony. I wish these two journalists, a warm welcome back into the arms of so many who missed them, a peaceful and joyous future. You were so brave and so hopeful and now your dreams and prayers have been answered. A special thank-you to Mr. Bill Clinton, whom I have always thought so much of.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  6. Oscar , Panama

    bernice, how can you say "these innocent woman" if they had crossed the border ilegally? Dont you read the entire news? It is true punishment could be disproportionate but they crossed ilegally, were caught by poilce and taken before a court of law. Now everybody cries, poor woman, how good they were released.........but why nobody mentions they crossed the border ilegally, just looking for a good report?

    August 5, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  7. Randy Gabriel

    Why didn't pres Obama do any thing for the release of them? He had time to stick his nose into local police business. I guess it just isnt important enough or is it a race issue? The whole issue was just pushed aside. What is the deal???? Way to go EX-PRES Clinton............

    August 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  8. Joe, Las Vegas

    Smart move on Obama's part by sending the smoothest, slickest talker in the free world to do the negotiation. Congrats to Bill, Obama, Al Gore from the beginning, Hillary, and the Administration.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  9. Frank

    These two are getting undue attention as they knew what they were doing. This will only encourge other morons to violate other countries borders and cause undue international crisis. Sad thing is that they will both make millions with book signings and movie deals. They should not give them any attention.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  10. Oscar , Panama

    Good the journalists came back but why nobody mentions they crossed the border ilegally? Just because they are "americans" they can not be taken before a court of law in NK? Now they cry because were released but why they dont mention they crossed ilegally? Or americans thing that the fact of being "americans" allow them to disobey law? Dont americans haunt mexicans like animals and out them in cages , by the same reason, crossing ilegally?

    August 5, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  11. Geoffrey- Washington, DC

    As someone in the field working in a potentially dangerous environment, such as Lauara Ling, Euna Lee, and Michael Ware do reporters really accept the fact that they may be kidnapped, detained, arrested, etc.? Albeit great that Laura and Euna got back to the States today, I feel like they can't believe that this happened to them. Is this not a calculated risk that you take as a journalist even if you think that you did nothing wrong? I personally like to get off the beaten track and when I do I assume that I am taking a risk and that something may happen even if I am not trying to do something illegal.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  12. OKAKPU

    Bill and team, thank you so much I know you can.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  13. bernice

    This is a wonderful tribute to our government and our leaders! I admire Bill Clinton and Al Gore taking such an active part in the release of these innocent women. What a gift to AMERICA to have the two journalists returned to their families. God is good and uses the talents of all to make this move possible! Thank You to Bill Clinton on
    showing the world what a classy person he really is...Hillary can be proud of him!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  14. Al

    It's amazing how anyone can criticize the act of going to Korea to rescue two american journalists and try to justify it by saying that now all rogue nations will insist on having a high profile person like an ex president go to secure Americans taken hostage. And, that it encourages hostage taking. Wow!

    Another thing that amazes me is that there is always talk about how there is no news out of North Korea. That they do not reveal anything. Yet we have experts now talking about news reports inside North Korea concerning the former president's visit to bring the two journalists back. It is suggested that they are using it for propaganda. Wait, why would a government that controls its' people so completely need propaganda?

    Of course, all of the criticism is prefaced with the delight in having brought the women back. Of course! Thanks for caring so much for the safety and welfare of fellow Americans!

    I hope people are paying close attention to these critics..

    August 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  15. Remby

    Its great to see them back. The Ling's are hotties, and the more of them there are, the better.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  16. EZV., PhD

    We share everyone´s happiness on the reunited families of the two mothers: no doubt about that! After David´s and Peter´s encounter on the program and putting sentiments aside, a basic curiosity arises: why did the asian ladies (implying they might speak the language of the area) as reporters cross the delicate, controversial, and dangerous boundary whithout permission in the first place? What "story" were they looking for? Hard to believe they didn´t know where they were going or doing. They ended up putting everyone on the spot. So who started the whole thing? Glad they´re home but something is missing.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  17. baker

    I prayed for the safe return of these journalist. But now i wonder how sister Luci Ling feels about the significant role Bill Clinton played in the role of her sister's release?

    I will never forget the cruel and mean remarks made by Luci years ago ABOUT PRESIDENT AND HILARY CLINTON when Luci was a regular host on "The View," when many were demanding President Clinton's removal from office and her cruel criticizing of Hilary for standing by Bill? It just goes to show we should always treat people well as we never know if they are the blessing we may need some time in life.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Sue

    With the return of Laura and Euna, all citizens of the world edge closer to universal freedom and the possibility of lasting peace. May all of us continue to take up the mantle of peace – inner and outer – starting today, in appreciation of this positive development on the international stage.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  19. Sue

    With the return of Laura and Euna, all citizens of the world edge closer to universal freedom and the possibility of lasting peace. May all of us continue to take up the mantle of peace – inner and outer – starting today, in appreciation of this positive development on the international stage.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  20. Roy

    Great job, Bill Clinton. We have lost nothing by having our former President do the right thing, the right way.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  21. Noel Deskins

    Very touching photos of the 2 journalists reunited with their families! Thanks to Gore, Clinton, and our current President Obama for this great feat! Of course, the skeptics will think that the US sold their souls to the North Koreans – we don't know that! Maybe diplomacy works instead of being pushy!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  22. Diana

    Whatever or whoever it took to get the job; the job was done! The results are 2 women are free; they are home with their families tonight where they should be. Thank you to all those involved in bringing them home...job well done!!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  23. Cherise Walker

    I had been thinking about and praying for these women. Don't care what the circumstances or negotiations were, just glad they are home where they belong!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  24. L

    Once again walking away from consequence gives me tears in my eyes.

    August 5, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  25. Lori

    One cannot help but smile and cry at the same time. What a blessing for so many!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  26. Pam

    Kudos to Bill Clinton & Al Gore! What an amazing feat!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  27. Blue, in Denver

    Thank you, Clinton/Gore Team! Thank you, thank you, & thank you! Once again you PROVE you can do it!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  28. Louis McKenzie

    Thank God for the Democrats. With a group effort like Hillary Clinton Secretary of State, President Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton how can one lose?

    Now it looks like they will have to do the same thing with Iran. They should even go as far as using President Clinton along with President Obama when dealing with Israel. Not as a sign of weakness but as a sign of solidarity.....

    August 5, 2009 at 8:49 pm |
  29. Annie Kate

    This day is such a happy day. Watching Euna Lee with her 4 year old reduced me to tears – it doesn't get any better than that. This year hasn't been very good until today and today has to be the best day so far this year – it brought together family and love, courage through adversity, generosity of spirit, diplomacy over rhetoric, humanity of all people, and humility over brashness. I felt it a rare privilege to be able to watch the homecoming of the two women.

    August 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  30. Lynn ~ Illinois

    It was a wonderful moment for them and for all of us. We are so fortunate to live in a free country, yet all the majority of people do is complain. If only we could all REALLY work together for the good of everyone.

    August 5, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  31. Judy Gilbreath

    I echo all the positive remarks above. God Bless everyone that had a
    hand in bringing these two women home. However, the coverage tonight is turning my stomach. I think we should put Carl Rove, Dick Morris and Dick Chaney in a row boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I'd throw in Bush too but I have to give him credit for keeping a low profile since the election.

    August 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  32. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Bet it's not the first time Bill brought two women home.

    So what did we do to secure this release? What did we promise? I'm sure the North Koreans didn't suddenly just have an attack of 'nice'; nor was this the result of any jokes Mr. Bill told at dinner.

    August 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  33. carol kesling

    by the way thanks to everyone involved, including our president BARACK OBAMA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  34. carol kesling

    to elise, weel said,toushe!!!!!!!! you gotta love president bill clinton, he is still a very respected man, got class.....i got chills when laura talked about walking in that room and saw bill clinton that has to be a moment they will remember ALLWAYS !!!!!!!! lots of tears here !!! welcome home !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  35. ronvan

    Yep. Glad they are home! Now would someone tell me how much it cost us & this country to get them back? Now we have some more idiots held in Iran. Don't we have enough problems in this country?

    August 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  36. Fernando

    Bush must be disappointed that no bombs were drop to help the rescue. Cheney must be thinking that Bill Clinton, with all that talking and handshaking, is making the US weaker and placing all American lives in danger.
    Good job Bill, Obama, and everybody else.

    I have a theory: maybe China allowed guards from North Korea to cross the border to capture these 2 journalists. The subject that they were working on (women trade between China and North Korea) was suppose to embarrass both countries. Allowing N.K. to capture them sounds like a solution to that problem (I'm just trying to think like a Chinese).

    August 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  37. Elise

    George W Bush would never have been able to accomplish this.

    August 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  38. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    : ) : ) : ) : ) !!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  39. Mari

    What a great lesson to all the Far-right-haters, on how diplomacy can work!

    Thank you, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, etc., for bringing our Citizens home safely!

    August 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  40. Theresa McCauley Lynn,Mass.

    The happy ending to this story has brought tears of joy to my eyes.....: )

    August 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  41. @SarahFordOsmond

    Thank God for people like Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Today marks a day that cowboy politics is OVER! Welcome diplomacy.

    August 5, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  42. Gary Chandler in Canada

    I wish Lou Dobbs would come out and say it!!!
    North Korea is a perfect example of the border security he advocates.

    August 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  43. Tania

    I am so glad to see Laura and Euna reunited with their families. These pictures and the images on TV bring tears to my eyes. God bless them!

    August 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  44. Anthony Ching

    This turned out to be a wonderful day with the good news this morning that the journalists will be reunited with their families in Burbank, Ca.
    This most important thing is that they are safe and back with their families and friends. I know I worried about their welfare and that is why today is a GREAT day now that they are back. We should be proud of our government negotiating for their release.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  45. Noel Anthony Haughey

    Brings tears of joy to my eyes....

    August 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  46. g michael, CA.

    The powers that be.....got the mission accomplished..
    May the two journalists give back as much as they were given.
    Freedom to be a American.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  47. indulgebakery

    I am moved to tears. Thank you for posting these. Welcome home, ladies!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  48. devans00

    I got a lump in my throat and watery eyes looking at these pictures. Especially the ones where the women are hugging their husbands and child.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  49. Isabel, Brazil

    Very emotional to see Laura and Euna reunited with their families.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  50. Jennifer - Michigan

    I could not turn away this morning during this reunion. There was a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as I was watching. I'm so happy for all the family. So nice that they are now home and safe. Today I gave my kids extra tight hugs and lots of kisses. We don't know how good we have it, really.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
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