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North Korea's Kim says releases three American detainees upon United States request: KCNA

North Korea's Kim says releases three American detainees upon United States request: KCNA

US President Donald Trump has ruled out meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.

Their release followed talks between Pompeo and Kim about the forthcoming summit, and Trump is expected to welcome them home when they land overnight at Andrews air force base outside Washington. AP #4152917/3 "And we very much look forward to having the meeting between the United States and North Korea and that will be announced over the next couple of days as to timing".

As soon as the plane cleared North Korean airspace, Pompeo called President Donald Trump to inform him of the releases with the men all apparently in good health; then other officials notified their families. Kim also goes by his Korean name, Kim Sang-duk.

The family of Tony Kim, one of the freed prisoners, said in a statement: "We are very grateful for the release of our husband and father, Tony Kim, and the other two American detainees".

Schumer offered his scathing critique just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left the Korean peninsula with the three prisoners by his side; saying "No regime has the right to hold American citizens in captivity without cause, and under no circumstances should American citizens be viewed as bargaining chips". KIM HAK SONGKim Hak Song was also an employee at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology before he was detained.

Kim has since taken his country in a historic new direction by pledging to rebuild relations with the North's regional neighbors, including South Korea.

A month before his trial, Kim had also appeared at a government-arranged news conference and apologised for attempting to steal military secrets in collusion with South Korea. TONY KIMKim was detained a year ago and charged with "hostile acts" toward the government, but it is not known if he was ever formally convicted and sentenced.

The three men, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim, walked on their own from a van and onto the plane of top diplomat Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo has described United States objectives for the summit as the immediate "permanent, verifiable irreversible dismantling of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program".

"They were happy to be with us on this plane, to be sure", Pompeo told reporters during the flight.

North Korean state media says they were arrested either for subversion or "hostile acts" against the government. "A deal that we hope to reach, the President is optimistic we can reach with North Korea, will address all those issues".

Trump has credited his "maximum pressure" campaign for drawing North Korea to the table and has vowed to keep sanctions in place until Pyongyang takes concrete steps to denuclearize.

There's also the "fire and fury" threatened by Mr Trump in response to North Korean nuclear tests which is now, it seems, producing tangible results.


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