WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has hailed the return to America of two journalists held by North Korea, extending praise especially to former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore.
Speaking on the White House lawn just before leaving on a trip to Indiana, Obama said the administration is "extraordinarily relieved" that the pair has been set free. He said he had spoken to their families once the two were safely aboard a plane out of Pyongyang and said he also spoke with the former president.
Obama said, "The reunion we've all seen on television, I think, is a source of happiness not only for the families but a;lso for the entire country."
In addition, Bill Clinton says he's "very happy" that a pair of American journalists have been freed from imprisonment in North Korea.
In a statement released from his New York office, Clinton called their plight a "long ordeal," and said he was gratified that they "are now home and reunited with their loved ones."
Clinton went to Pyongyang as a private citizen acting as an envoy for the United States to work out a deal to win the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. The statement was released as the former president appeared with the pair at a Los Angeles area airport.
The former president said that he shared "a deep sense of relief with Laura and Euna and their families that they are safely home."