Trump Welcomes Freed American Detainees From North Korea

Trump Welcomes Freed American Detainees From North Korea

American officials had long fought for the trio's release and were hoping to have the men returned home before Trump's upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which is likely to take place in Singapore next month.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is en route back to the United States from North Korea, and he is bringing home the three Americans who had been detained in the country, President Trump announced on Wednesday.

Welcoming the three Americans at a military base outside Washington early Thursday, Trump said of Kim, "I really think he wants to do something".

"I think you probably broke the all-time, in history, television rating for three o'clock in the morning - that I would say", Trump said.

"For me, I had to a lot of labour, but when I got sick I was also treated by them".

A plane carrying three U.S. prisoners released by North Korea landed near Washington D.C. on Thursday and were met by President Donald Trump, clearing a major obstacle to a planned summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"My proudest achievement will be - this is a part of it - will be when we denuclearize that entire peninsula", he said.

After their meeting with the US President, the men were expected to go to Walter Reed Medical Centre in Maryland for further evaluation and medical treatment, according to White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters. We have a meeting scheduled in a very short period of time.

Mr Trump said he thought the summit would be "a big success".

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The other two, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim, were employed by the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology when they were detained previous year.

Kim, who had until yesterday been imprisoned in the DPRK, landed at the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at around 0240 local time, accompanied by two fellow American former detainees and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He returned to the U.S. on Thursday, with three Americans released from detention in North Korea.

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Shortly before their arrival, the three men released a statement thanking the Trump administration.

Trump promised "quite a scene" when the three men touch down. "God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world".

The president had made a point of publicly thanking North Korea's leader for the prisoners' release - "I appreciate Kim Jong Un doing this" - and hailed it as a sign of cooling tensions and growing opportunity on the Korean peninsula.

Earlier in the week, the US President had ruled out meeting Mr Kim at the demilitarised zone which separates North and South Korea.

The men walked without assistance to the US government plane that flew them out of Pyongyang and were in the air less than an hour after leaving custody.

He further said that a new relation has been forged between the USA and North Korea and added, "A year ago, one would say it was not possible".

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