"When I first heard the story I was devastated," Ling, whose TV-reporter sister Laura Ling was held captive for five months in a North Korean prison in 2009, said on Wednesday's The Wendy Williams Show. "I have never met her, but she does incredible work and I wish her and her family well and hope that she comes back strong because her work is really unique. She's a very courageous woman and I wish her well."
Referencing her sister's experience, Ling said journalists generally understand the dangers they face – but sometimes, the unexpected happens.
"I don't think people recognize the risks that some journalists take, we all take security precautions very seriously but sometimes when you're out there you just don't know what could happen," Ling said. "There are so many unanticipated things that may come up. But I think it's so important for us to support our journalists because we don't want to remain an ignorant society and it takes courageous journalists to go out there."