Three American former hostages touched down in Alaska

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On their way to Andrews Air Force Base, the three U.S. hostages released by North Korea touched down briefly at Ted Stevens International Airport for refueling, before continuing on their journey on Wednesday evening.

The plane landed after 2 p.m. Alaska time and left two hours later. It had arrived in Anchorage from Kadena AFB in Japan.

The three freed Americans released a statement: “We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States Government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home.”

They arrived at Andrews Air Force Base at 10:40 pm Alaska time, where President Donald Trump is greeting them. The men were heading for Walter Reed Medical Center.

REMEMBERING A HOSTAGE WHO DIED

Last June, after 17 months in North Korean captivity, Otto Frederick Warmbier was released to the United States, although he was comatose and died just six days after his reform.

He was arrested in North Korea in January, 2016 for attempted theft, after allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster. Warmbier had been traveling as a student when he took a guided tour of North Korea.

One month after being imprisoned, he suffered a neurological trauma that has never been fully understood. He fell into a coma and was repatriated to Ohio, where he died June 17, 2017.