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DPRK releases US citizen

By Agencies in Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang | China Daily | Updated: 2014-10-23 07:57

Two more still held; Seoul renews call for release of Christian missionary

The United States said on Tuesday that one of three US citizens held by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been released and was heading home.

"We can confirm that Jeffrey Fowle has been allowed to depart the DPRK and is on his way home to rejoin his family," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at a daily news briefing. "We welcome the DPRK's decision to release him."

Fowle, 56, entered the DPRK on April 29 and was arrested on a charge of acts said to have violated the DPRK's laws.

Fowle's wife cried out with joy, the family's attorney said on Tuesday.

Attorney Timothy Tepe said Fowle was able to call his wife himself later on his way home.

Fowle arrived later at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to US television reports.

Television footage showed Fowle smiling as he descended from the plane with baggage in hand, being greeted by loved ones who embraced him on the airport tarmac.

The DPRK is holding two other US citizens, 24-year-old Matthew Miller and 42-year-old Kenneth Bae, both of whom were sentenced to hard labor - Miller for six years, Bae for 15.

Fowle was flown out of the DPRK on a US military jet which was spotted at Pyongyang's international airport on Tuesday by two Associated Press journalists.

"While this is a positive decision by the DPRK, we remain focused on the continued detention of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller and again call on the DPRK to immediately release them," Harf said.

ROK missionary

The Republic of Korea on Wednesday urged the DPRK to release a Christian missionary who has been detained there for about a year.

Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said at a news briefing that the government has been calling on the DPRK to set free Kim Jong-wook, who has been detained since October 2013.

Xinhua - AP - AFP


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