North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has issued a special pardon to two detained Current TV journalists, according to press reports citing the official North Korean News Agency .
Current TV reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling had been found guilty of entering illegally the country illegally in March and committing "hostile acts." They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.
The releases follows on the heels of an unannounced visit to Pyongyang by former President Bill Clinton. Al Gore, the co-founder of Current TV, was vice president under Clinton.
"Kim Jong-il issued an order … granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labour," the North Korean agency KCNA was quoted as saying in a statement, adding that the reporters’ pardon was a sign of North Korea’s "humanitarian and peace-loving policy."