- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - The sister of a Washington state man held for nearly two years in North Korea says she believes the release of another American “could be a sign of hope”for her brother, Kenneth Bae.

Terri Chung said Tuesday in a statement that her family celebrates the release of American Jeffrey Fowle. She adds that she hopes North Korean leaders “will have mercy on my brother to show goodwill to our family and to the world.” Otherwise, she says the family will soon mark the two-year anniversary of Bae’s detention.

On Tuesday, North Korea abruptly freed Fowle, who was whisked to the U.S. territory of Guam before heading back to his wife and three children in Miamisburg, Ohio. Fowle was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a nightclub. Christian evangelism is considered a crime in North Korea.

The two other Americans held - Bae and Matthew Miller - were each sentenced to years in North Korean prisons. All three entered the country separately.

A 46-year-old Korean-American missionary from Lynnwood, Bae was detained in November 2012 while leading a tour group in a special North Korean economic zone. He suffers from chronic health issues.

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