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Former North Korean Captive, Journalist Euna Lee to Discuss ‘Faith, Family and Freedom’

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(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Feb. 23rd, 2011) ―

For about five months Euna Lee and Laura Ling were held prisoners in North Korea for illegal entry. Sentenced to 12 years of hard labor, their lives were forever changed. But on Aug. 4, 2009, former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited North Korea and successfully got the North Korean government to pardon both Lee and Ling.

Euna Lee

With a new outlook at life, Lee wrote a memoir, “The World is Bigger Now: A Memoir of Faith, Family and Freedom,” which she will discuss and sign copies of at Cal State Northridge.

The event is scheduled to take place Wednesday, March 2, at the Valley Performing Arts Center Lecture Hall 181 at 4 p.m. The Valley Performing Arts Center is located on the south side of campus near the intersections of Lindley Ave. and Nordhoff St.

Euna Lee’s story is a tough case of journalistic dilemma because her captivity itself accidentally became a more salient issue than her assignment on human trafficking of North Korean defectors, said Taehyun Kim, assistant professor of CSUN journalism department, who is hosting Lee.

Lee was a producer and editor for former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV when she was arrested with her colleague on March 17, 2009, while filming at the border between China and North Korea. The book details her 140 days of imprisonment, her ongoing interrogation and her efforts to protect her sources and the subjects of her reporting, as well as the importance of her religious faith during this time.

"The World is Bigger Now: A Memoir of Faith, Family and Freedom"

“Euna Lee hasn’t really spoken publicly about her ordeal,” Kim said. “I think CSUN students and faculty members will have a rare opportunity to hear from her side of the story.”

This event is part of the CSUN Journalism Department’s annual Erlandson International News Symposium and is made possible by funding from the CSUN Distinguished Visiting Speakers Program, Office of Graduate Studies, Asian American Studies Department and the Political Science Department.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kim at taehyun.kim@csun.edu or at (818) 677-3144.

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