Lisa Ling told KCRA-TV in Sacramento she spoke to her sister, Laura, on Tuesday.
"It was the third time that I've heard her voice since March 17 when they were first detained. And it was a very different call from the two previous calls. She was very deliberate and clear in her message, which was, look, you just have to know that we did violate North Korean law. We broke the law, we are sorry, and we need help. We need our government's help to try and get amnesty because that really is our only hope," Lisa Ling told KCAR-TV.
Laura Ling and Lee were detained while working for San Francisco-based Current TV, which former U.S. Vice President Al Gore helped found. They were sentenced last month to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and "hostile acts."
Laura Ling said her sister, who suffers from an ulcer, said she regularly sees physicians and is OK.
"Laura and Euna are deeply, deeply sorry for what they did. They made a mistake. We've all made mistakes and right now we need the help of our government," Ling said.