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Trump: Three U.S. Detainees Headed Home from North Korea

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U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the three American detainees in North Korea are currently on their way to the United States.

The three men were released during U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang and are said to be in good health.

“I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting,” Trump said on Twitter. “They seem to be in good health.”

The president, who described the meeting between Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as positive, also said a time and date had been officially set for his upcoming summit.

“Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set,” Trump added.

The secretary of state also took to Twitter Wednesday to remark on his trip to the North Korean capitol.

“I had productive meetings in Pyongyang with Chairman Kim Jong-un and made progress,” Pompeo said. “I’m delighted to bring home three Americans.”

The U.S. delegation, according to NBC News, was informed of Kim’s decision just 2 hours before leaving the country.

Pompeo and the three men are expected to land in Maryland early Thursday morning where they will be greeted in person by the president.

“Secretary Pompeo and his ‘guests’ will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00 A.M. in the morning,” Trump said. “I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!”

The three hostages include 64-year-old Kim Dong Chul – arrested in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years hard labor for allegedly spreading Christianity and espionage – 59-year-old Tony Kim – an accountant accused of committing hostile acts last year – and 55-year-old Kim Hak Song – also arrested and accused of similar in 2017.

Kim Dong Chul, Tony Kim & Kim Hak Song

The family of Tony Kim released a statement following news of the release, thanking the president for engaging with the Hermit Kingdom.

The South Korean government also praised the Americans’ release, noting the significance of the trio’s Korean origin.

“This decision made by North Korea will be a positive factor for the success of the North Korea-United States summit,” Blue House spokesman Yoon Young-chan said. “There’s also considerable significance in the fact that all three American detainees are of Korean origin.”

Trump is expected to meet with Kim either later this month or in early June to discuss the country’s missile and nuclear weapons program.


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Chris G. Long

Chis Long is an award winning writer for The San Andreas Times, and various other publications. He lives in Sacramento with his wife and two children.

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