[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[December 29, 1994]
[Pages 2206-2207]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks on the Release of Bobby Hall by North Korea and an
Exchange With Reporters
December 29, 1994

    The President. Good evening. I have just spoken with Army Chief 
Warrant Officer Bobby Hall. He's crossed the Demilitarized Zone to 
freedom. He's safe. His medical condition is currently being evaluated. 
But we had a good visit, and he said he was feeling well.

[[Page 2207]]

    Chief Warrant Officer Hall was held for too long after his 
helicopter strayed off course on a routine training mission. But we are 
very glad that he has been released and is now in freedom.
    Earlier this evening, I called his wife, Donna, to tell her that he 
would be released and how pleased we all were. I know that all Americans 
join me in sharing the Halls' happiness that they and their loved ones 
will now be able to be together and celebrate New Year's, reunited as a 
    At the same time, I know I can speak for all Americans in saying 
that we, once again, send our deep condolences to the family of Chief 
Warrant Office David Hilemon, who died in the same incident. So as we 
welcome the release of Chief Warrant Officer Hall we must also remember 
the supreme sacrifice and the service made by his comrade in arms.
    We wish all the families our best. We thank them all for their 
service and their devotion of our country. We wish them Godspeed in the 
new year.
    Thank you very much.
    Q. Mr. President, can you tell us, sir, what the United States may 
have given up in this deal? And the fact that the agreement signed talks 
about future contacts with the North, was that a concession to the 
North, and does that cut out South Korea?
    The President. No. And the briefings will make that clear. The terms 
of the agreement are clear from their own words. And we were faithful to 
all of our commitments to our allies and to our commitments to our own 
    And I want to thank the team that worked very hard on this. They did 
a very good job. They performed with dedication, with great discipline, 
and I'm very pleased by the way it was handled.
    Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 10:50 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the 
White House.