The vigil came the same day the State Department implied, for the first time, that Ling and Euna Lee may have committed a crime. On Thursday, the State Department asked for their release on the grounds of amnesty. Until now, the U.S. had made its case on humanitarian grounds.
Ling’s sister Lisa, a well-known journalist herself, stepped up her plea for Laura’s release.
Lisa Ling: “I don’t know where she is. I don’t know who is around her. I know that she and Euna are not together. She doesn’t understand Korean, so she’s just so isolated and alone. And we are really concerned about their mental state.”
It was Lisa who got the call from North Korea Tuesday night that prompted the Administration’s shift in tone. Laura told her sister that she and Euna had violated the law; that she was sorry; and that she needed the help of her government.