The release of two United States nationals by the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) provides hope for “positive momentum” as international parties work to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.
The two US citizens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, were released today following negotiations and are reportedly on their way back home. According to media reports, the two had been sentenced to hard labour in the DPRK after their separate arrests in November 2012 and April 2014, respectively.
In a statement attributable to his spokesperson, the Secretary-General welcomed the news of the release of Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller, adding that he was “relieved” the two were “safely returning home.” In addition, Mr. Ban voiced appreciation for the DPRK's decision to release them following the last month's release Mr. Jeffrey Fowle – another US citizen who had been detained by DPRK authorities.
“The Secretary-General hopes that this positive momentum for improving relations among the concerned parties for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and beyond will be built on,” concluded Mr. Ban's statement.
The release of Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller comes on the heels of a political dialogue held last month between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK, following which both parties agreed to hold yet another round of high-level talks soon.