Fowle receives hundreds of interview requests

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The Dayton Daily News has reported on North Korea’s detainment of West Carrollton resident Jeffrey Fowle for nearly six months, providing breaking news updates and in-depth reports of his plight.

Jeffrey Fowle’s attorney is fielding “hundreds” of media requests to interview the West Carrollton man held captive by North Korea for more than five months.

Fowle has not granted any interviews since his surprise release last week from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where he was awaiting trial after being accused in May of leaving a Bible in a public place.

Due to his isolation during detainment, the 56-year-old Fowle “had absolutely no idea of the intense media coverage his case had generated” until his return Wednesday, said attorney Tim Tepe, the Fowle family’s spokesman.

In an email Monday, Tepe’s office said he and Fowle are scheduled today to discuss the interview requests.

Since Fowle’s release a week ago, Tepe said his office has received inquiries from local, national and international news organizations seeking interviews with Fowle, who was one of three U.S. citizens held captive by North Korea.

The email sent by Tepe’s office went out to several broadcast companies, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the BBC, Fox News, National Public Radio and Al Jazeera. It was also sent to USA Today, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Cox Media Group Ohio – which operates the Dayton Daily News and WHIO – was among those requesting an interview.

Tepe said last week he told Fowle “you’ll have to decide which ones you want to grant, which ones you don’t. We’re talking about literally several hundred requests for interviews from local, national and international news sources. He needs to go through and he needs to make some decisions about that.”

Fowle arrived in North Korea in late April and was arrested in early May. The Beavercreek High School graduate and former Moraine city worker was awaiting trial when he was set free.

Two other U.S. citizens – Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller – are serving prison terms of 15 years and six years, respectively, in that country.

When asked last week about Fowle’s decision to travel to North Korea, Tepe said they were not ready to respond. He replied similarly when asked about the charge that led to Fowle’s arrest, saying it is “nothing that I’m really going to get into right now.

“Jeff will be made available to answer direct questions about that,” Tepe said. “But until that time, I think it’s best that that comes from Jeff.

“I think it’s a question that Jeff will address. I think that Jeff will face some tough questions about his decisions,” he said. “And he’ll answer those questions when he’s ready.”

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