Trump says North Korea released three US detainees
Wednesday - 09/05/2018 09:28
North Korea has freed three US citizens from prison, according to a tweet from US President Donald Trump.
The move is viewed as goodwill gesture ahead of a historic summit between Mr Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un.
Mr Trump said he would greet the men when they return with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been in Pyongyang to arrange the planned talks.
Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in labour camps.
Mr Trump announced the release of the men in a tweet on Wednesday.
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. They seem to be in good health. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set.
Kim Hak-song was held on suspicion of "hostile acts" in May 2017. He had previously described himself as a Christian missionary who intended to start an experimental farm at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST)
Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang-duk, also worked at PUST. He was detained in April 2017 on espionage charges. According to South Korean media, he had been involved in humanitarian work in the North.
Kim Dong-chul, a pastor in his early 60s, was detained in 2015 on spying charges, and was then sentenced to 10 years hard labour.