North Korea frees Bae and Miller

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(Left to Right) –Jeffrey Fowle, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae

Photos: cbcca.com, timesunion.com, Google Images

Updated Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014 – Carol Lim

Good news for the families of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, the last two Americans detained in North Korea.  Bae, 46, and Miller, 25, were released after months of detention in the N. Korea. Both arrived late Saturday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State, CNN and NBC News reports.

Bae hugged his family upon arrival and thanked President Obama, the U.S. State Department and the North Korean government for reuniting him with his family.

Bae told reporters that he is recovering. While in North Korea, Bae said he was not feeling well during his detention.

Miller’s family from Bakersfield, California also hugged him after he got off the plane.  Miller did not speak with reporters on Saturday.

The men’s release came after James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence and the United States’ top spy, made a rare and last-minute trip to Pyongyang.  The North Korean government asked the U.S. to send an envoy to North Korea.  It’s unclear as to why North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, had a change of heart in freeing the Americans.

Less than a month ago, North Korea released Jeffrey Fowle, a Ohio man. Fowle spent 5 months in detention after he left a Bible at a club in North Korea.

Bae, a Korean American church missionary, was held since late 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “hostile acts” against the North Korean government. Bae was accused of being part of a Christian plot to overthrow Un’s regime.  Bae’s sister said her brother is not a spy after he was convicted.  Un recently reappeared in public after being absent for over a month.

Miller was detained since April. He was convicted in September of “acts hostile” and sentenced to six year of hard labor.  CNN reports Miller was accused of destroying his tourist visa and seeking asylum when he entered North Korea.

In September, Bae, Miller and Fowle interviewed with CNN exclusively in Pyongyang. Each told CNN that they signed statements to admit their guilt and to not complain about their living conditions. The three Americans  also asked the United States to help with their release from North Korea during their 5-minute interviews.

 

 

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