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Jeffrey Fowle back in Ohio, 'in good health' after North Korean detention

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 01:23

American Jeffrey Fowle was ''treated well'' by the North Korean government during his nearly half-year detention in the reclusive state, his lawyer says. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) American Jeffrey Fowle returned to his home in southern Ohio on Wednesday, with his lawyer saying he was in good health after a nearly half-year detention in reclusive North Korea. Fowle, age 56, had been one of three Americans held by Pyongyang, which typically has tried to use the release of foreign captives as a way to build domestic political support for its leaders. "Jeff would like you to know that he was treated well by the government of the DPRK and that he's currently in good health," lawyer Timothy Tepe. Fowle, dressed in a brown jacket, was flanked by his wife and children as he stood near Tepe, but did not speak. Fowle needs time to adjust to his life back home in a Dayton suburb before addressing the media about his ordeal, Tepe said, adding that the family wanted to offer its thanks to the U.S. State Department, the Embassy of Sweden and others for securing his release. North Korea, where health problems around young leader Kim Jong Un have raised question about his grip on power, tried to show that the release came after pleading from Washington. Fowle was freed on Tuesday (October 21) and flown from Pyongyang on a U.S. government plane, without any quid pro quo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. Fowle was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a sailor's club in the North Korean city of Chongjin, where he was traveling as a tourist. North Korea, which tries to portray the Kim family that has ruled it for more than 60 years as demigods, is particularly sensitive to religious proselytizing. U.S. officials have given no details on the negotiations that led to Fowle's release, or to speculate why Pyongyang freed him in case it jeopardized talks over Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller. Bae, the longest to be held by North Korea is a Korean-American missionary. He was arrested in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Miller, an American held in North Korea since April for "hostile acts" in September began a six-year hard labor sentence that he said involved farm work and isolation, according to media reports.

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Jeffrey Fowle back in Ohio, 'in good health' after North Korean detention

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 01:23