Analysis: Fowle was North Korea's easiest US case

October 22, 2014 1:27 PM

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PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Why did North Korea free Jeffrey Fowle, and only him, when two other Americans remain in prison there? Probably because Pyongyang considered him the most minor of the three offenders, and may believe that releasing him could improve abysmal U.S. relations and even temper growing international criticism of its human-rights record.

Fowle was not accused of espionage or "hostile acts," as the other Americans were. The 56-year-old was detained for six months for leaving a Bible in a nightclub in the city of Chongjin, where he was visiting with a foreign tour group.

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