US says DPRK releases American citizen
Updated: 2014-10-22 10:35
WASHINGTON - The United States said on Tuesday that one of three Americans held by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) 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, adding "We welcome the DPRK's decision to release him."
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, 24-year-old Matthew Miller and 42-year-old Kenneth Bae, who were sentenced to hard labor of six years and 15 years respectively.
Harf said the Pentagon sent a plane to fly Fowle out of the DPRK as the Asian country asked the US government to fetch him in a time frame.
"He has been evaluated by a doctor and appears to be in good health," she said, adding, "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."
The United States has no diplomatic relations with the DPRK, and the Swedish embassy is acting as Washington's protecting power in the country.