North Korea releases two Americans

Two Americans held in North Korean prisons have been released. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced that Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller were on their way home.

CNN:

Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller have been allowed to leave North Korea -- where they had been detained -- "and are on their way home," the Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence announced Saturday.

The DNI's office said that the U.S. government is facilitating the two men's return home, though it was not immediately clear when they would arrive back in the United States.

"We welcome (North Korea's decision to release both Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller," the office said in a statement. "We want to thank our international partners, especially ... the government of Sweden, for their tireless efforts to help secure their release."

The two men's release comes less than a month after North Korea released Jeffrey Fowle, an Ohio man who spent five months detained in the reclusive East Asian nation.

Bae has been held since late 2012, and in April 2013 was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" against the North Korean government.

Miller, meanwhile, has been detained since April.

According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, he was convicted in September of committing "acts hostile" to North Korea and sentenced to six years of hard labor.

Bae's "crime" was spreading the gospel. Miller arrived in North Korea as a tourist and then stated his intention to defect. The North Koreans evidently didn't believe him and sentenced him to 6 years hard labor earlier this year.

No other information about their release has been forthcoming, so we don't know yet whether there was some kind of quid pro quo involved. Recent history suggests that the North Koreans do not give up these prisoners out of the goodness of their hearts. It's probable they received something - food, medicne, other aid.

Let's hope the price wasn't too high.

Two Americans held in North Korean prisons have been released. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced that Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller were on their way home.

CNN:

Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller have been allowed to leave North Korea -- where they had been detained -- "and are on their way home," the Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence announced Saturday.

The DNI's office said that the U.S. government is facilitating the two men's return home, though it was not immediately clear when they would arrive back in the United States.

"We welcome (North Korea's decision to release both Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller," the office said in a statement. "We want to thank our international partners, especially ... the government of Sweden, for their tireless efforts to help secure their release."

The two men's release comes less than a month after North Korea released Jeffrey Fowle, an Ohio man who spent five months detained in the reclusive East Asian nation.

Bae has been held since late 2012, and in April 2013 was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" against the North Korean government.

Miller, meanwhile, has been detained since April.

According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, he was convicted in September of committing "acts hostile" to North Korea and sentenced to six years of hard labor.

Bae's "crime" was spreading the gospel. Miller arrived in North Korea as a tourist and then stated his intention to defect. The North Koreans evidently didn't believe him and sentenced him to 6 years hard labor earlier this year.

No other information about their release has been forthcoming, so we don't know yet whether there was some kind of quid pro quo involved. Recent history suggests that the North Koreans do not give up these prisoners out of the goodness of their hearts. It's probable they received something - food, medicne, other aid.

Let's hope the price wasn't too high.