DPRK releases detained American considering repeated requests of Obama
PYONGYANG, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has released detained American Jeffrey Edward Fowle and handed him over to the United States, official news agency KCNA reported Wednesday.
The decision was made by top leader Kim Jong Un in consideration of the repeated requests of U.S. President Barack Obama, said the news agency.
Fowle was handed over to the U.S. side according to a relevant legal procedure, the report said.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a daily news briefing Tuesday that Fowle, one of the three Americans held by the DPRK, has been released and was heading home.
Fowle, 56, entered the DPRK on April 29 and was arrested for acts against his tourism goal and in violation of the DPRK law.
The DPRK is holding two other Americans, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae, who were sentenced to hard labor of six years and 15 years respectively.
Bae, a Korean-American missionary, was arrested for "committing hostile acts against the DPRK" in November 2012 after entering Rason City as a tourist, and Miller conducted "acts hostile to the DPRK under the disguise of a tourist," according to KCNA.
Miller had been detained since April 10 when he tore up his visa on arrival at Pyongyang's international airport in an alleged attempt to seek an asylum in the country.
"He (Fowle) has been evaluated by a doctor and appears to be in good health," Harf said, adding that "we remain focused on the continued detention of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller and again call on the DPRK to immediately release them."
The Pentagon sent a plane to fly Fowle out of the DPRK as the Asian country asked the U.S. government to fetch him in a time frame.