By Yara Del Rio-Dominguez |Staff Writer|
Americans detained in North Korea have been released back into the United States (U.S.) after being sentenced to six years of hard labor.
Both Kenneth Bae, 46, former Lynwood resident, and Matthew Todd Miller, 24, a Bakersfield resident, are the last two Americans detained in North Korea, according to CNN.
“The charges for which Miller and the other detained U.S. citizens were arrested and imprisoned would not give rise to arrest or imprisonment in the U.S.,” said spokesman Darby Holladay.
Unclear of exactly what law they broke, both Americans remained in North Korea and did not know exactly what their charges were until they went to trial.
The North Korean government surprised CNN by giving Miller and two other detained Americans five minute interviews each, but interviews were monitored by the North Korean government.
The American hostages pleaded for U.S. help, according to CNN.
Decision to release the men could be because North Korea may be trying to improve their relationship with the U.S.
“It appears that it is a good move by the North Koreans to restart the North Korean-American relationship, which has been in a really deep freeze,” said Bill Richardson, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
The communist country is known for its pursuit to develop nuclear weapons, while the U.S. and other countries have fought against those measures.
“I don’t believe North Korea wanted to carry this out any longer in order to obtain a positive relationship with the U.S. in the long term,” said student Edgar Gutierrez.
Bae and Miller’s release is not related to other U.S. issues involving North Korea, according to CNN
U.S. citizens are not encouraged to visit the country, according to the U.S. State Department.