North Korea Frees Jeffrey Fowle, USAF Flies Him to Gaum

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announces Fowle’s release.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announces Fowle’s release.

A plane from the U.S. Air Force picked up American, Jeffrey Fowle after his release from detention in North Korea on Tuesday, according to officials at the State Department. An U.S. Air Force jet set down at the Pyongyang Airport this morning.

Fowle was arrested and detained this spring after he left a bible at a restaurant/bar in the port city of Chongjin in May. He was arrested as he was leaving the country in early June. Independent religious activities are forbidden in North Korea.

Fowle was held pending trial when the Swedish government facilitated his abrupt release on Tuesday. The North Korean government stipilated that the U.S. was required to transport Fowle out of the country as a condition of his release.

Fowle was one of three Americans held by the North Korean government. The other two Americans in custody, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae, have already been tried in a North Korean Court. Miller was sentenced to six years in prison, while Bae was sentenced to fifteen years. The U.S. continues to urge the North Korean government to release them and return them to the U.S.

The USAF transported him to Guam where he will be further transported home.