2 American detainees released by North Korea
Iran Press TV
Sun Nov 9, 2014 12:49AM GMT
North Korea has released the last two American nationals who were serving prison sentences in the Asian country a few weeks after the release of another American.
Matthew Todd Miller of Bakersfield, California, and Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, were freed from detention on Saturday following last month's release of Jeffrey Fowle of Miamisburg, Ohio, who was held captive for almost six months on charges of leaving a Bible in a nightclub in the northern port city of Chongjin in North Korea.
Bae, a tour operator who is known in North Korea as Pae Jun-ho, was arrested on charge of anti-government activities in November 2012 after he entered North Korea's northeastern port city of Rason.
Miller was detained in April after allegedly ripping up his visa at immigration. He was convicted of entering North Korea illegally to commit espionage, and sentenced to six years of hard labor.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama welcomed the release, calling it wonderful.
'I think it is a wonderful day for them and their families and obviously we are very
grateful for their safe return,' Obama said.
He also thanked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who had travelled to North Korea for a secret mission, reportedly linked to the release.
'I appreciate the director (Clapper) doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission.'
The US and North Korea have not had formal ties for decades following the 1950-53 Korean War. Tensions have risen between Washington and Pyongyang after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February.
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