American Missionary Freed, Reunited With Family

Robert Park arrived in Los Angeles on a flight from Beijing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego.com

    An American missionary with ties to San Diego is home after being held in North Korea.

    Detained in North Korea for 43 days, Robert Park arrived in Los Angeles on a flight from Beijing on Saturday. His family says they are simply happy to see him alive and well. 

    American Missionary Freed, Reunited With Family

    [DGO] American Missionary Freed, Reunited With Family
    An American missionary with ties to San Diego is home.

    “I was speechless, it was great to see him walk off that plane,” his brother Paul Park said.

    The 28-year-old missionary reunited with his family at LAX in an emotional homecoming.
       
    “He's been crying he's very excited, there was nothing more touching than to see a mother and son being able to embrace,” Park said.

    At their home in Encinitas on Thursday, Robert's parents said they were looking forward to seeing their son.

    “Still I really can't believe, but I am so happy,” his mother Helen Park said.

    Robert crossed into North Korea from China on Christmas day, carrying letters calling on leader Kim Jong Il to close the country's prison camps and step down from power.

    Paul Park said Saturday that his brother appeared thin, but overall seemed to be in good health.

    “I think he needs rest, some sleep, to regroup and connect with the family,” Park said.

    The Park family says they don't know whether North Korean officials mistreated Robert.

    “The family is glad to have him back home with us and we are looking forward to having some peace and quiet,” his brother said.