Published on: 21 October 2014
American jet bearing the U.S. flag at Pyongyang airport transports Fowle to Guam.
Jeffrey Fowle, an American Christian was abruptly allowed to leave North Korea on a U.S. government jet Tuesday, Oct 21.
Fowele, 56, one of three Americans being held in North Korea, had been awaiting trial on charges for leaving a Bible at his hotel room in Chongjin in May. He was charged with violating the law by “acting contrary to the purpose of tourism.”
Sweden negotiated Fowle’s release since U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea. He had been in detention nearly six months.
During a CNN interview last month, Fowle along with Bae and Miller pleaded for U.S. help.
In the interview Fowle had said the conditions were good and hoped they would continue to be so.
“The charges are violations of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) law, which stems from me trying to leave a Bible,” Fowle said in the interview, “It’s a covert act and a violation of tourists’ rules.”
Fowle signed a statement admitting his quilt and requested forgiveness from North Korea.
Although North Korean has a number of state-controlled churches it forbids independent Christian activities.
Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, two other Americans imprisoned in North Korea have not been released.
Bae, 46, a Korean-American missionary, is serving 15 years hard labor for smuggling in “inflammatory literature.” He has been in prison since 2013.
Miller, 24, was convicted Sept. 14 of entering North Korea illegally to commit espionage and sentenced to six years of hard labor. He was accused of tearing up his tourist visa and seeking asylum upon entry.
U.S. State Department is continuing to work on securing the release of Bae and Miller.