Nauert: North Korea release of detainees a 'step in the right direction'

Nauert: North Korea release of detainees a 'step in the right direction'

Nauert: North Korea release of detainees a 'step in the right direction'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hinted on Friday at the possibility of meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if it leads to resolving the issue of past abductions of Japanese citizens by the North.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump said he will be meeting with Kim on June 12, tweeting "we will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace!" Tensions began to ease, coinciding with the North's participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

Heo told the network the defections were a South Korea government-sanctioned "luring and kidnapping", a statement that would support North Korea's claims the former administration of jailed President Park Geun-hye seized the North Koreans who were working in a restaurant in China at the time of their disappearance.

Meeting with Kim in Pyongyang earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conveyed Trump's verbal message on the unspecified proposal, said the North's official news agency KCNA. "My proudest achievement will be - this is part of it - when we denuclearize that entire peninsula".

"Frankly, we didn't think it was going to happen and it did", Trump said after thanking Kim for releasing the men.

US President Donald Trump was present and waiting to greet the three former prisoners of North Korea in the early hours of Thursday as they landed at the Andrews Air Force base in the Washington, DC area.

One man, Kim Dong-chul, said he had to do "a lot of labor", but, he said, when he was sick, he received treatment.

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University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was arrested in 2017; and Kim Hak-song, who also taught at PUST. With respect to the North, he added: "When I make promises, I keep them".

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Pompeo said there would need to be "complete" and "verifiable" denuclearization, suggesting it would involve inspections to ensure the North's compliance. They look happy to be with you, okay? The White House said the men are in good health and undergoing medical evaluations at Walter Reed Hospital.

"Mr. Trump soon replaced Mr. Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, who has promised to bring back the State Department's swagger and import", the article said.

To get the answer, 11Alive news partner WUSA checked with the State Department and it turns out two of the hostages were detained in April and May of 2017 during the Trump administration, which wouldn't make it possible that Obama couldn't have freed them, since he was not in the Oval Office. A series of United States administrations have sent envoys, both official and unofficial, to Pyongyang in the hope of stopping North Korea's provocative nuclear weapons program. A North Korean official told Pompeo that Kim had granted the three "amnesty", a senior USA official said.

The last American to be released before this, college student Otto Warmbier, died in June 2017, days after he was repatriated to the USA with severe brain damage. "I said, 'Welcome home.' He said, 'God bless America, '" said State Department official Brian Hook, who was with Pompeo in North Korea.

The release appeared to signal an effort by Kim to improve the mood for the summit and followed a recent pledge to suspend missile tests and shut a nuclear bomb test site.

That meant answers to some important questions would have to wait, the Times reported.

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