North Korea has freed Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans detained by the country, and he is being flown home to his family, Washington said yesterday, amid growing international pressure on Pyongyang over its human rights record.
North Korea has been on a diplomatic campaign to counter charges by a U.N. body that highlighted widespread human rights abuses and a move by some U.N. members to refer the state to an international tribunal.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States welcomed the release of Fowle, a street repair worker from Miamisburg, Ohio, but pressed Pyongyang to free the two remaining Americans.
Fowle, 56, was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a sailor’s club in the North Korean city of Chongjin, where he was traveling as a tourist. The isolated state is particularly sensitive to religious proselytizing.
Now we just need Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller!!
Miller was arrested in April for a separate incident. The longest to be held by North Korea is Bae, a Korean-American missionary arrested in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor.