US: 1 American released from North Korea
WASHINGTON - After nearly six months in custody in North Korea, American detainee Jeffrey Fowle has been released.
The State Department today announced the release of Fowle, who had been awaiting trial on charges of leaving a Bible at a nightclub in a northern port city last May.
He's now been flown out of North Korea on a U.S. government jet that was spotted today by Associated Press journalists at North Korea's international airport.
The Swedish government helped negotiate his release.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest says it was a positive decision by North Korea to release Fowle. He urged the North to release the other Americans, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, and said the U.S. will "continue to work actively on them."
Earnest says the Defense Department provided transportation to Fowle on a schedule that the North had specified.
The three Americans entered North Korea separately. In interviews last month with the AP, all three said they believed that the only solution to their situation was for a U.S. representative to come to North Korea to make a direct appeal.
Washington has repeatedly tried to send such an envoy, but a U.S. official said the North had refused, as recently as last month.