President Donald Trump says three Americans who were detained in North Korea have been released.
Trump said the three men are returning to the United States with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The president made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday. He added that the three “seem to be in good health." Trump also said he plans to meet with the released Americans when they land at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
The announcement follows Pompeo’s visit to North Korea. The secretary of state went there to prepare for talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump added that Pompeo had a “good meeting” with Kim.
The three Korean-Americans released by North Korea had spent many months trapped in the country.
Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song were teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. They were separately detained in 2017. North Korean officials accused the two of anti-state activities and trying to overthrow the government.
The third detainee, Kim Dong Chul, was arrested in October 2015. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor in 2016 after being found guilty of espionage charges.
Pompeo’s latest trip to North Korea came just weeks after he met with Kim. Earlier this week, the North Korean leader met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second time in a little more than a month.
Observers say the talks are a sign that negotiations have reached a critical point.
"It suggests that a major deal is under consideration that involves major concessions on each side," noted Dennis Wilder. He served on the U.S. National Security Council during the presidency of George W. Bush.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
George Grow wrote this story for VOA Learning English. His story was based on reports from VOANews.com and the Associated Press. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in This Story
strategic – adj. something important or necessary to completion of a plan
concession – n. something given up
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