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ICC Note: Robert Park returns to the United States, has yet to make a statement

2/8/10 North Korea (CSW) – CSW welcomes the release of a Korean-American missionary detained in North Korea, but strongly urges the international community to intensify pressure on the nation for the release of 200,000 prisoners still languishing in North Korea’s gulag.

According to international news reports 28 year old Robert Park was welcomed home looking pale and thin by his family at Los Angeles international airport this weekend. He has been quoted as explaining that his understanding of North Korea had been tarnished by “false propaganda made by the west.”

The Christian missionary, originally from Tucson, Arizona, crossed illegally into North Korea from China on Christmas Day with a letter addressed to the North Korean leadership in which he appealed for an end to the country’s notorious prison camps. He wrote: “Please open your borders so that we may bring food, provisions, medicine, necessities, and assistance to those who are struggling to survive. Please close down all concentration camps and release all political prisoners today, and allow care teams to enter to minister healing to those who have been tortured and traumatized. All we are asking is for all North Koreans to be free, safe and have life. With love, respect, and good will towards all people.”

Robert Park was arrested and detained for a total of 43 days before being released.