According to Lisa, Laura Ling, 32, admitted to family members that she "very briefly" trespassed into enemy territory with colleague Euna Lee, 36. This led North Korea to detain the two journalists and sentence them to 12 years hard labor, which resulted in an international incident that this week saw former President Bill Clinton meet with North Korea's President Kim Jong Il to arrange the release of the women – who were returned to American soil Wednesday.
"She did say that they touched North Korean territory very, very briefly," Lisa Ling, 35, told CNN on Thursday. "She said that it was maybe 30 seconds, and everything just got sort of chaotic." Adding that Laura has details she will provide, Lisa noted, "It's a very powerful story and she does want to share it."
In a phone conversation with Meredith Vieira that was aired live on Friday's Today" show, Lisa (who, like Vieira, is a former cohost on The View), said it may take Laura some time to tell her tale, given that during her imprisonment she spent weeks not uttering a word.
"Even getting sentences out is challenging, because she's not used to talking as much,” Lisa said of Laura's current condition. "So we're just taking things very, very easy with her."
No Hot WaterShe did say that her sister, who is at home with her family, is enjoying have fresh food again after subsisting on a less-than-adequate diet while under North Korean detention: primarily rice mixed with rocks, small vegetables and fragments of fried fish, "which she developed a reaction to," Lisa told CNN.
"Bathing was a little bit difficult because they didn't have hot water," she also said. "So she would fill up buckets and she would say, 'Okay, on Saturday I'm going to wash my hair.' "
As for those who stood watch over her sister, Lisa said, "I think she won a lot of her captors over. She had some really lovely things to say about the people who were watching her. She had two guards in her room at all times. And even though they couldn't speak together, they developed a sort of strange kinship."
Perhaps the most moving sight as the two women left the plane that brought them to the Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, Calif., on Wednesday was Euna Lee's embracing her young child Hana. Now that the mother is home, said Lisa Ling, "I hear that Euna's 4-year old daughter does not want her to leave her sight. She keeps following her from room to room."