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Two Americans Held In North Korea Are Released

Wong Maye-E AP
Kenneth Bae, an American tour guide and missionary detained in North Korea, serving a 15-year sentence. Bae was released on Saturday, nearly two years after his arrest.

Wong Maye-E AP
Matthew Miller, an American detained in North Korea, serving a six-year sentence, was released on Saturday along with Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary who had been sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, held for months in North Korea, have been freed, U.S. officials say.


Bae, 45, a Korean-American missionary and tour guide from Lynnwood, Wash., was convicted of trying to overthrow the Pyongyang regime and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. He was detained in late 2012.

Bae was reportedly leading a tour group to North Korea when he was arrested.

Miller, 24, a tourist from Bakersfield, Calif., was arrested in April and sentenced to six years on charges of espionage. Pyongyang claimed that Miller tore up his visa and asked for asylum so he would be thrown into jail where he could investigate alleged human rights abuses there.

The two, released together, were being accompanied on a flight out of Pyongyang by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, his office said.

The release of Bae and Miller comes weeks after another American detainee in North Korea, Jeffrey Fowle, was set free. With today's release of the two detainees, there are no remaining Americans thought to be in North Korean custody.


Fowle, 56, of Miamisburg, Ohio, was arrested in June. After his release, Fowle said he had attracted the attention of authorities after leaving a Korean/English Bible in a public bathroom in a restaurant and bar in Pyongyang.

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