The private Boeing 737 carrying Laura Ling, 32, and Euna Lee, 36, touched down at Bob Hope Airport after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il pardoned the two Current TV journalists following a meeting with former President Bill Clinton.
Ling thanked all who helped in gaining their freedom, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"We could feel your love all the way in North Korea," she said. "It is what sustained us in our darkest hours. We are very grateful we were granted amnesty by the government of North Korea."
Current TV co-founder and former Vice President Al Gore was on hand to greet the two reporters and Clinton.
Gore thanked everyone involved in securing Lee's and Ling's release, noting President Barack Obama and his staff "have been deeply involved in this humanitarian effort.... They have really put their hearts in this."
"This has been an ordeal for them but I want you all to know your families have been unbelievable, unbelievable, passionate, involved, committed, innovative," Gore said.
Ling and Lee were arrested March 17 near the North Korean-Chinese border while on assignment. In June, they were convicted and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegally entering the country and "hostile acts."
Before leaving for an event in Indiana, Obama told reporters, "We are obviously extraordinarily relieved" by the reporters' homecoming.
He also thanked Clinton "for the extraordinary humanitarian effort that resulted in the release of the two journalists. I want to thank Vice President Al Gore who worked tirelessly in order to achieve a positive outcome."
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