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Whiskey & Immigrants is our new podcast which introduces listeners to regular, everyday immigrants. We hear their stories, how and why they came to America, their expectations vs. reality and much more. We hope you’ll join us.

Subscribe now on iTunes

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So you’ve been freed by North Korea. What happens now?

One went back to work as a street repairman in a small Ohio town. One became an author. Two returned to journalism. Two others are now dead. They all have one thing in common: They’re Americans who were once held prisoner in North Korea.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from his latest trip to Pyongyang on Wednesday, he brought back three more members of this unfortunate club. The freed men arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland early Thursday, where they received a hero’s welcome from President Trump and Vice President Pence.

“We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who was really excellent,” Trump said. “This is a special night for these three really great people, and congratulations on being in this country.”

Two of the men raised their arms triumphantly as they exited the plane, and they appeared to be in good health. But now that they’re home, they face another hurdle: readjusting to life after being held prisoner by one of the world’s most repressive regimes. According to a former prisoners and a U.S. diplomat who helped free North Korean hostages, the process may not be easy.

“After they get home, after the fanfare is over, they’re usually traumatized,” former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson told VICE News. “They’re troubled. They go through periods of depression. This is the general pattern.”

One went back to work as a street repairman in a small Ohio town. One became an author. Two returned to journalism. Two others are now dead. They all have one thing in common: They’re Americans who were once held prisoner in North Korea.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from his latest trip to Pyongyang on Wednesday, he brought back three more members of this unfortunate club. The freed men arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland early Thursday, where they received a hero’s welcome from President Trump and Vice President Pence.

“We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who was really excellent,” Trump said. “This is a special night for these three really great people, and congratulations on being in this country.”

Two of the men raised their arms triumphantly as they exited the plane, and they appeared to be in good health. But now that they’re home, they face another hurdle: readjusting to life after being held prisoner by one of the world’s most repressive regimes. According to a former

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