‘Confession’ Might’ve Led North Korea To Free U.S. Prisoner


(Image source: CNN)

BY AMY KLUBER
One of three American prisoners held in North Korea has reportedly been released four months after he was first detained.

U.S. government officials told CNN a government plane picked up Jeffrey Fowle Tuesday at the request of the North Korean government. He was then taken to Guam and was on his way home as of Tuesday afternoon.

The 56-year-old tourist was arrested in May when he attempted to leave North Korea. He’s been accused of leaving a Bible in his hotel room and was awaiting trial prior to his release.

Officials have not said why North Korea decided to release Fowle. But if the past is any indication, it might have something to do with Fowle’s confession.

In an interview with CNN last month, Fowle not only pleaded for help from the U.S., but he also admitted guilt. He claims to have had no complaints about his treatment.

FOWLE: “Treatment’s been very good so far.”

The country has been known to release prisoners after securing confessions, like it did with Korean War veteran Merrill Newman last year.

So far there’s no word on the status of the other two American prisoners, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller.

Miller had been accused of tearing up his visa upon entering the country and demanding asylum. He’s been sentenced to six years in prison.

And Bae, who has been held captive the longest, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after his arrest in 2012 for allegedly trying to overthrow the North Korean government.

The State Department is expected to provide additional details about Fowle’s return home. It also says it’s continuing its efforts in securing releases for the other prisoners.

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