Joo Won-moon, the 21-year-old NYU student and South Korean national who crossed the Chinese border into North Korea in April—in hopes of improving the North's relations with the South—has been released by North Korean officials after a six-month detainment.

Joo's release comes on the heels of a September press conference, during which he read a prepared statement praising North Korea and told his parents that he was "well and very healthy."

The News reports that Joo was dropped off in the North Korean border town of Panmunjom around 5:30 p.m. local time on Monday. Yonhap News Agency first reported Joo's release, citing experts who deemed it a strategic move to release a highly-publicized detainee less than a week before the 70th anniversary of the formation of North Korea's leading Workers' Party.

"By releasing Joo, North Korea appears to give South Korea a message showing that the North protects human rights," Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told the news outlet. Totally.

Three other South Korean detainees in the North, charged with spying for Seoul's intelligence agency, have been sentenced to hard labor for life.

According to the Post, the South Korean government will now investigate whether Joo violated a South Korean law that prohibits traveling to the North without authorization. The South hopes that the Joo's return might prompt the release of the other South Korean detainees.

Joo, a resident of New Jersey and a junior at NYU's Stern School of Business, hiked from the Great Wall of China over the border into North Korea during his semester off this spring. He managed to scale two barbed wire fences and cross a wide river before North Korean police officers arrested him.

"I thought that by my entrance—illegally I acknowledge... some great event could happen, and that event could affect the relations between the North and South," he told reporters in May.

NYU spokesman John Beckman released a statement following Joo's release. "He and his family have been in our thoughts," he said. "We're relieved to learn of his release and glad for this good outcome."