North Korea released from prison two American citizens who had been sentenced to years of hard labor.

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller are in route to the United States after the “surprise involvement” of a top-ranking U.S. intelligence official.

In a statement The Department of State welcomed the release of U.S. citizens Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller from the D.P.R.K., where they have been held for two years and seven months, respectively.

“The United States has long called on D.P.R.K. authorities to release these individuals on humanitarian grounds.”

“We are grateful to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who engaged on behalf of the United States in discussions with D.P.R.K. authorities about the release of two citizens. We also want to thank our international partners, especially our Protecting Power, the Government of Sweden, for their tireless efforts to help secure the freedom of Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller.”

(READ the Reuters story, w/ photos, from NY Post)

Photo by John Pavelka via CC license

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