U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea on Tuesday and is expected to return from the trip with three U.S. prisoners of North Korea ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit, Yonhap News reported late Tuesday.
“We expect him to bring the date, time and the captives,” an official from South Korea’s presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, told Yonhap News on the condition of anonymity. The date and time refer to the U.S.-North Korea summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced during a Tuesday afternoon briefing on the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal that Pompeo was on a plane to North Korea ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit. Reporters yelled questions on the potential that the three prisoners of North Korea would be released. Trump replied that “it would be a great thing” if U.S. prisoners in North Korea were freed and that they “will soon be finding out” whether they would be released.
President Trump tells reporters “it would be a great thing” if U.S. prisoners in North Korea were freed, “we will soon be finding out” … Pompeo headed to NK right now … U.S. leaving Iran nuclear deal pic.twitter.com/LslkR4nQRp
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) May 8, 2018
While many U.S. media outlets ran with stories last week that North Korea had “released” the three U.S. prisoners, the White House responded saying they could not “confirm the validity” of these reports. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during the Thursday White House briefing that the White House “certainly would see this as a sign of goodwill if North Korea were to release the three Americans ahead of discussions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.”
President Trump has confirmed that the U.S.-North Korea summit will take place and that a time and place had been determined, but he has refrained from providing those details as of yet. Just over a week ago, he revealed that the location could be the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
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