American freed by North Korea wanted pizza

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Americans in North Korea - Kenneth Bae - Matthew Miller
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American freed by North Korea wanted pizza
Kenneth Bae, center, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, is hugged after arriving Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after they were freed during a top-secret mission. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kenneth Bae, left, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, hugs his mother Myunghee Bae after arriving, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after they were freed during a top-secret mission by James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Matthew Miller, left, who had been held in North Korea since April, 2014, is greeted after arriving Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he were freed during a top-secret mission. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kenneth Bae, right, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, talks to reporters after he arrived Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he was freed during a top-secret mission. At left is his sister Terri Chung. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
In this image taken from video, U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller speaks at an undisclosed location in North Korea Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Two Americans, Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle, charged with “anti-state” crimes in North Korea say in a video that they expect to be tried soon and possibly receive long prison terms, and appeal for help from the U.S. government. They made the comments in the video shot by a local AP Television News crew. The crew was taken to a location to meet the detained Americans after repeated requests to North Korean authorities to see them. (AP Photo/APTN)
Kenneth Bae, right, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, talks to reporters after he arrived Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he was freed during a top-secret mission. Looking on from left are Bae's brother-in-law Andrew Chung, his mother, Myunghee Bae, and his sister, Terri Chung. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kenneth Bae, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, smiles as he talks to reporters Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he was freed during a top-secret mission. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kenneth Bae, center, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, talks to reporters after he arrived Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he was freed during a top-secret mission. Looking on from left are Bae's brother-in-law Andrew Chung, his mother, Myunghee Bae, his sister, Terri Chung, and nieces Ella and Caitlin Chung. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kenneth Bae, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, greets his mother Myunghee Bae after arriving, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after they were freed during a top-secret mission by James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The Plane carrying Kenneth Bae, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, and Matthew Miller, who had been held since April, 2014, arrives Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after they were freed during a top-secret mission by James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Matthew Miller, top, who had been held in North Korea since April, 2014, walks off the plane after arriving Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he were freed during a top-secret mission by James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Matthew Miller, center, who had been held in North Korea since April, 2014, is greeted after arriving Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after he were freed during a top-secret mission. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kenneth Bae, a American tour guide and missionary serving a 15-year sentence, detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A conservative anti-North Korean activist holds a placard calling for the release of detained US missionary Kenneth Bae following a protest against the North Korean regime, in Seoul on Febraury 16, 2014. Rare talks between the rival Koreas ended on an even rarer note of agreement February 14, allowing an under-threat reunion for divided families to go ahead and fuelling hopes of further constructive engagement. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
What appears to be a United States Air Force passenger jet, right, is parked on the tarmac of Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. The State Department says Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans being held in North Korea, has been released. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Fowle was on his was home Tuesday after negotiators left Pyongyang. She said the U.S. is still trying to free Americans Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A conservative anti-North Korean activist holds placards calling for the release of detained US missionary Kenneth Bae following a protest against the North Korean regime, in Seoul on Febraury 16, 2014. Rare talks between the rival Koreas ended on an even rarer note of agreement February 14, allowing an under-threat reunion for divided families to go ahead and fuelling hopes of further constructive engagement. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenneth Bae, an American tour guide and missionary serving a 15-year sentence, detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A protester carries a portrait of American missionary Kenneth Bae for an anti-North Korea rally in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, making the anniversary of the birth of North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il. The protesters called for the release of Bae who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
American missionary Kenneth Bae speaks to reporters at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in Pyongyang Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Bae, 45, who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year, appealed for the U.S. to do its best to secure his release. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2014 file photo, American missionary Kenneth Bae, right, leaves after speaking to reporters at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in Pyongyang. Bae, 45, who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year, appealed for the U.S. to do its best to secure his release. Bae has been returned to a labor camp, prompting worries about his health, his sister Terri Chung said Friday, Feb. 7. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File)
American missionary Kenneth Bae, second from right, arrives to speak to reporters at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital in Pyongyang Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Bae, 45, who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year, appealed for the U.S. to do its best to secure his release. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
Jeffrey Fowle, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Jeffrey Fowle, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Jeffrey Fowle, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
The wife and children of Jeffrey Edward Fowle sit with their attorney, Tim Tepe, center, during a news conference at Tepe's office in Lebanon, Ohio. Fowle has been charged with "anti-state" crimes in North Korea. Fowle's family apologized Tuesday to the communist country and pleaded for its government to show him mercy, saying in a statement they're "desperate for his release and return home." From left are: Fowle's sons, Alex, 13, and Chris, 11; wife Tatyana, 40, and daughter Stephanie, 9. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)
Tanya Fowle, right, wife of Jeffrey Fowle, listens as attorney Tim Tepe reads a statement from the family, Monday, June 9, 2014, in Lebanon, Ohio. Tepe said that Jeffrey Fowle was on vacation as part of a tour when he was detained in North Korea last week. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
In this image taken from video, U.S. citizen Jeffrey Edward Fowle speaks at an undisclosed location in North Korea Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Two Americans, Fowle and Matthew Todd Miller, charged with “anti-state” crimes in North Korea say in a video that they expect to be tried soon and possibly receive long prison terms, and appeal for help from the U.S. government. They made the comments in the video shot by a local AP Television News crew. The crew was taken to a location to meet the detained Americans after repeated requests to North Korean authorities to see them. (AP Photo/APTN)
Tanya Fowle, wife of Jeffrey Fowle, leaves the room after attorney Tim Tepe read a statement from the family, Monday, June 9, 2014, in Lebanon, Ohio. Tepe said that Jeffrey Fowle was on vacation as part of a tour when he was detained in North Korea last week. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
Tanya Fowle, right, wife of Jeffrey Fowle, listens as attorney Tim Tepe reads a statement from the family, Monday, June 9, 2014, in Lebanon, Ohio. Tepe said that Jeffrey Fowle was on vacation as part of a tour when he was detained in North Korea last week. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
Mathew Miller, an American detained in North Korea speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Mathew Miller, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Mathew Miller, an American detained in North Korea, waits in a room after speaking to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Mathew Miller, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Mathew Miller, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
President Barack Obama, joined by outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, talks about the release of two Americans detained in North Korea, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington after announcing that he will nominate US Attorney Loretta Lynch to replace Holder. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Jeffrey Fowle talks about being detained in North Korea for nearly six weeks, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 in Lebanon, Ohio. Fowle, sitting in his attorney's office during the interview, was held for nearly six months in North Korea after leaving a Bible at a nightclub. Christian evangelism is considered a crime in North Korea. Fowle was released on Oct. 22, 2014 and returned to Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Skip Peterson)
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SEATTLE (AP) - Kenneth Bae arrived home after years of imprisonment in North Korea, expressing his gratitude to the U.S. government for securing his release and revealing that his time there offered lessons.

And his sister said he had one stipulation for his first meal back home: No Korean food.

"He said, 'I don't want Korean food, that's all I've been eating for the last two years,'" Terri Chung said Sunday outside her Seattle charge. "We had a late night eating pizza."

Bae and Matthew Miller, another American who had been held captive in North Korea, landed Saturday night at a Washington state military base after a top U.S. intelligence official secured their release.

"It's been an amazing two years, I learned a lot, I grew a lot, I lost a lot of weight," Bae, a Korean-American missionary with health problems, said at Joint Base-Lewis-McChord Saturday night. Asked how he was feeling, he said, "I'm recovering at this time."

Bae, surrounded by family members, spoke briefly to the media after the plane carrying him and Miller landed. He thanked President Barack Obama and the people who supported him and his family. He also thanked the North Korean government for releasing him.

"I just want to say thank you all for supporting me and standing by me," Bae said. His family has said he suffers from diabetes, an enlarged heart, liver problems and back pain.

Chung said Bae was in better shape when he arrived than his family expected. She said he had spent about six weeks in a North Korean hospital before he returned.

"That helped. As you know, he had gone back and forth between the labor camp and hospital," she said.

Members of Bae's family, who live near the sprawling military base south of Seattle, had met him when he landed. His mother hugged him after he got off the plane. Miller stepped off the U.S. government aircraft a short time later and also was greeted with hugs.

American Freed by North Korea Asked for Pizza

U.S. officials said Miller of Bakersfield, California, and Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, flew back with James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. Clapper was the highest-ranking American to visit Pyongyang in more than a decade.

Their release was the latest twist in the fitful relationship between the Obama administration and the young North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, whose approach to the U.S. has shifted back and forth from defiance to occasional conciliation.

A senior Obama administration official said the president approved the mission last week and U.S. officials spent the next several days planning the trip. Clapper spent roughly a day on the ground and met with North Korean security officials - but not with Kim, the official said aboard Air Force One as Obama prepared to head to Beijing.

Clapper went with the sole purpose of bringing home the two detainees, although the U.S. anticipated that other issues of concern to the North would come up during Clapper's discussions, the official said.

"It was not to pursue any other diplomatic opening," said the official, who wasn't authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity.

The U.S. had considered sending someone from outside the government to retrieve the detainees, the official said, but suggested Clapper after the North Koreans indicated in recent weeks that they would release the detainees if the U.S. sent a high-level official from Obama's administration.

Analysts who study North Korea said the decision to free Bae and Miller now from long prison terms probably was a bid to ease pressure in connection with its human rights record. A recent U.N. report documented rape, torture, executions and forced labor in the North's network of prison camps, accusing the government of "widespread, systematic and gross" human rights violations.

North Korea seems worried that Kim could be accused in the International Criminal Court, said Sue Mi Terry, a former senior intelligence analyst now at Columbia University.

Bae was serving a 15-year sentence for alleged anti-government activities. He was detained in 2012 while leading a tour group to a North Korea economic zone.

Miller was serving a six-year jail term on charges of espionage after he allegedly ripped up his tourist visa at Pyongyang's airport in April and demanded asylum. North Korea said Miller had wanted to experience prison life so he could secretly investigate the country's human rights situation.

Bae and Miller were the last two Americans held captive by the reclusive Communist country.

Last month, North Korea released Jeffrey Fowle of Miamisburg, Ohio, who was held for nearly six months. He had left a Bible in a nightclub in the hope that it would reach North Korea's underground Christian community.

Speaking Sunday, Chung said her brother was staying with family members, and enjoyed visiting with his loved ones upon his return.

"He was cut off from all of that for two years," she said. "His only contacts were his guard, and maybe doctors and a handful of times the Swedish embassy."

Chung said she was thrilled to have her brother home, and that "he bears no ill will" over his ordeal.

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