U.S. citizens Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller have been freed from detention by the North Korean government and are returning to the United States, the U.S. government said on Saturday.
Bae and Miller were being accompanied by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, his office said.
Bae, a missionary, was arrested in North Korea in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of 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 sentenced to six years of hard labor.
"We are grateful to Director of National Intelligence Clapper, who engaged on behalf of the United States in discussions with DPRK authorities about the release of two citizens," the U.S. State Department said in a statement.
"We also want to thank our international partners, especially our Protecting Power, the government of Sweden, for their tireless efforts to help secure the freedom of Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller."
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry)