Two Americans released after being held in North Korea have arrived Back in the United States.
Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller touched down at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state Just after midnight on Saturday. They were met on the tarmac by relatives.
Speaking to reporters after his arrival, Bae said: "It’s been an amazing two years, I learned a lot, I grew a lot, lost a lot of weight -- in a good way -- but I’m standing strong because of you and thank you for being there in such time as this," he said.
The pair were released after U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper visited Pyongyang to hold direct talks with the North Korean government in an attempt to secure the two men's release.
A BBC report suggested that Mr. Clapper's participation in negotiations had raised eyebrows in the region, as well as suspicions that the U.S. had made some kind of deal to secure the men's release. The White House denies that any deal was done.
Bae, a missionary from Washington state, was arrested in North Korea in Nov. 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for crimes against the state. Miller, who reportedly was tried on an espionage charge, had been in custody since April this year and was serving a six-year hard labor sentence, according to Reuters.
In a statement, North Korea's government said that U.S. president Barack Obama had given the country an "earnest apology" for the men's actions. It also said the two were "sincerely repentant of their crimes and (were) behaving themselves while serving their terms," according to CNN.
"It's a wonderful day for them and their families," Obama said at the White House. "Obviously we are very grateful for their safe return and I appreciate Director Clapper doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission."
This is a developing story -- check back for updates.