The upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea will be an excellent first meeting for promotion of a positive situation on the Korean peninsula, North Korea KCNA quoted Kim as saying. Asked about the prisoners, the vice president said only that the administration was working diligently to free them.
"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".
It marks the second meeting between the two leaders in recent weeks, following Kim's first official visit to Beijing in March, his first since taking power in 2011.
"We're granting amnesty to the three detained Americans", the North Korean emissary told Pompeo at Pyongyang's Koryo Hotel, according to the senior USA official who requested anonymity to discuss the exchange. Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim, who had both taught at a university in Pyongyang that was founded with donations from Christian groups, had been held for about one year and apparently had not been tried.
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.
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A historic meeting with the South, halting long-range missile tests and now the release of three American prisoners.
Trump and his allies outside the government had sought to fan the heightened expectations ahead of Thursday's official announcement, casting the potential development as evidence of his negotiating prowess ahead of the summit. The two sides agreed to meet again to finalise details of the summit, a US official said. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News. TONY KIMKim was detained previous year and charged with "hostile acts" toward the government, but it is not known if he was ever formally convicted and sentenced.
Last month saw the leaders of North and South Korea hold a historic summit at their shared border, where they vowed to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the shaky truce agreement that has left the peninsula divided since the Korean War.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that while there was "reason for some optimism" about the summit, the U.S. troop presence in South Korea would not be part of initial negotiations.
I could be wrong, but my guess is that we gave them nothing.
Like that of China, Vietnam and some other Asian countries, North and South Korean tradition puts the family name before a person's given name.