In May, North Korean authorities arrested American Jeffrey Fowle at an airport while he attempted to leave the country. His crime: leaving a bible in his hotel. Kim Jong Un's government claimed the leftover tome proved he wasn't a tourist, but a missionary.
Fowle, 56, hails from Miamisburg, Ohio, and is a city worker. After Fowle spent months of captivity in the isolated nation, North Korean officials allowed him to leave, contacting the United States Defense Department to arrange his exit. A U.S. government plane carried Fowle to Guam, CNN reported.
While Fowle was imprisoned, he told CNN that he had not been mistreated by North Korean authorities. "It's been very good so far, and I hope and pray that it continues, while I'm here two more days or two more decades," he said.
The United States praised Sweden, which serves as the American diplomatic proxy in Pyongyang, for its help in securing Fowle's release. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, "We welcome the DPRK’s decision to release him. While this is a positive decision by the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], we remain focused on the continued detention of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller and again call on the DPRK to immediately release them. The U.S. Government will continue to work actively on their cases."