Two Americans Freed by North Korea Land in US
US citizen Kenneth Bae (2nd L) shakes hands with US Air Force Colonel David Kumashiro (R) after Bae landed aboard a US Air Force jet at McChord Field at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WashingtonAnthony Bolante/Reuters

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, the two Americans who were held captive by North Korea, have reached the US following their release.

The two were flown in an American military plane from North Korea along with National Intelligence Director James Clapper.

The plane touched down at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord airport in Washington as jubilant relatives were eagerly waiting for Bae's and Miller's arrival.

Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary, was detained in North Korea in 2012 for allegedly plotting a coup against the North Korean regime and was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labour.

Miller was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of espionage after he reportedly ripped up his North Korean tourist visa at the airport seeking asylum.

"I just want to say thank you all for supporting me and standing by me during this time," Bae told a short news conference.

After thanking the Obama administration and the State Department for securing his release, Bae added: "It is an amazing blessing to see so many people being involved to get me released. I'd like to thank the DPRK North Korean government, as well -- allowing me to come home and be united with our family."

When questioned about his health, Bae said he is "recovering".

His sister Terri Chung told reporters her "heart aches for the people of North Korea. We know that there are many people in North Korea locked up like Kenneth were, and they remain apart from their families tonight. Please do not forget them".

Clapper, who carried a personal letter from President Barack Obama, was said to be instrumental in negotiating the release of the last two known Americans imprisoned in North Korea.

Clapper's visit to North Korea was the highest-level of contact between the two countries in many years.

The release of the two prisoners has come when Obama embarks on an Asia visit.