US Missionary Freed by N. Korea Heads Home

Robert Park arrives in Beijing pale, silent
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2010 5:46 AM CST
American missionary Robert Park, left, is escorted by a U.S. official as he is surrounded by journalists upon his arrival at the Beijing Capital Airport, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010.   (Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – Looking pale and drawn, his eyes almost closed, American missionary Robert Park headed home today after six weeks in detention in North Korea. Park, who crossed the border from China to North Vietnam on Christmas Day to protest religious suppression, made no comment as US consular officials met him in Beijing's airport on his morning arrival from North Korea.

He was to leave later in the day for the US, an embassy spokeswoman said, welcoming the release. Park, 28, crossed the frozen Tumen River from China into North Korea carrying letters calling on leader Kim Jong Il to close the country's notoriously brutal prison camps and step down from power—acts that could have risked execution in the hard-line communist country.

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