"The families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee are overjoyed by the news of their pardon," said the statement posted on a Web site dedicated to freeing the reporters of Current TV, based in San Francisco.
North Korean media reported the country's leader, Kim Jong Il, pardoned the reporters shortly after meeting with former U.S. President Bill Clinton in Pyongyang. The country's media reported later that the two had left with Clinton on an airplane.
"We are so grateful to our government: President Obama, Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton and the U.S. State Department for their dedication to and hard work on behalf of American citizens," the statement said. "We especially want to thank President Bill Clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and Vice President Al Gore for his tireless efforts to bring Laura and Euna home."
Bill Clinton traveled to the reclusive Communist country to try to win the release of the reporters, arrested March 17 near the North Korea-China border and later sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp on charges of illegal entry and hostile acts.
"We are counting the seconds to hold Laura and Euna in our arms," the families said.
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