SEOUL- North Korea said on Friday it will release U.S. religious activist Robert Park, arrested in December for illegally entering the country in a journey to raise awareness about Pyongyang's human rights abuses.
The relevant organ of the DPRK (North Korea) decided to leniently forgive and release him, taking his admission and sincere repentance of his wrong doings into consideration, the state KCNA news agency said.
Park, 28, walked over the frozen Tumen river from China and into North Korea on Christmas Day, other activists who helped him said.
He told Reuters in Seoul ahead of the crossing it was his duty as a Christian and that he was carrying a letter calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to release those he holds in brutal political camps and to step down.
KCNA said Park had confessed to illegally entering the state and that he had changed his mind about North Korea after receiving kind treatment there.
What I have seen and heard in the DPRK convinced me that I misunderstood it. So I seriously repented of the wrong I committed, taken in by the West's false propaganda, KCNA quoted Park as saying.
Defectors from the North say the state often uses torture to extract confessions.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, editing by Jonathan Thatcher)