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Americans released from North Korean captivity back on US soil

ICC Note: 

Kenneth Bae, a Christian who has been held prisoner in North Korea for the past two years, is now safely home in America. Bae’s was reunited with his family in Seattle around 9pm last night. 

11/9/2014 United States (Fox News)-One of two Americans released from North Korean captivity this weekend thanked his family, friends, and other supporters for not forgetting about him while he was held in the Communist state.

“I just want to say thank you all for supporting me and standing by me,” Kenneth Bae, of Lynnwood, Wash., said during a press conference at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle. “It’s been an amazing two years, I learned a lot,  I grew a lot, I lost a lot of weight.” Bae also thanked President Barack Obama, as well as the North Korean government for releasing him.

A plane carrying Bae and Matthew Miller, of Bakersfield, Calif., arrived at the base shortly after 9 p.m. local time. Members of Bae’s family, who live nearby, met him when he landed. His mother hugged him after he got off the plane. Miller stepped off the U.S. government aircraft a short time later and was also greeted with hugs. Neither Miller nor anyone in his party met the media.

The men’s release had been secured following a secret mission by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who accompanied Bae and Miller back to the U.S. and was the highest-ranking American official to visit Pyongyang in over a decade.

A senior Obama administration official said the president approved the mission last week and U.S. officials spent the next several days planning the trip. Clapper spent roughly a day on the ground and met with North Korean security officials — but not with Kim, the official said aboard Air Force One as Obama prepared to head to Beijing.

Clapper went with the sole purpose of bringing home the two detainees, although the U.S. anticipated that other issues of concern to the North would come up during Clapper’s discussions on the ground, the official said. “It was not to pursue any other diplomatic opening,” said the official, who wasn’t authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity.

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