US urges North Korea to release jailed Americans

north koreaThe US Monday called on North Korea to release two Americans, who have been detained and are facing trial in that country.

The US is aware of reports that citizens Matthew Miller and Jeffrey Fowle will face trial in North Korea, Xinhua quoted State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as telling a regular briefing.

“Out of humanitarian concern for Mr. Fowle and Mr. Miller and their families, we request North Korea release them, so they may return home,” Psaki said.

Miller and Fowle will be put on trial for allegedly ” perpetuating hostile acts,” the country’s official news agency KCNA reported Monday.

According to Psaki, diplomats with the Embassy of Sweden in North Korea visited Fowle June 20, and Miller May 9 and June 21, and the embassy regularly requests consular access to all US citizens in custody of North Korea.

“There’s no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of US citizens abroad,” Psaki added.

The spokeswoman also urged North Korea to refrain from taking provocative actions and fulfill its international obligations and commitments, in response to reports that the North Korea fired short- range ballistic missiles Sunday.

“We’re continuing to closely monitor North Korean activities, and the situation on the peninsula,” said Psaki, who admitted the US does not have further information on the specific details of the projectiles launched Sunday.