Ex-North Korean captive from Ohio reacts to detainee release

11 May, 2018, 04:27 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Donald Trump hails Kim Jong Un as North Korea prisoners arrive home

Trump, who revealed the date and location of the historic summit on Twitter, said he and Kim will sit down on June 12 - an event that will mark the first ever meeting between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader.

Kim chose to grant amnesty to the three Americans at the "official suggestion" of the US president, said North Korea's official news agency, KCNA. But the island nation was favored by most of his advisers.

In North Korean state media, Kim was quoted as saying the summit "would be a historic meeting" and an "excellent first step toward promotion of the positive situation development in the Korean peninsula and building a good future". Singapore's ambassador based in Beijing also is responsible for Pyongyang.

Trump said the meeting would be a chance to further peace talks and efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, merely months after threatening Kim with "fire and fury".

South Korean officials have also been involved in talks about the meetings.

Trump said on their arrival that he believed Kim, who has led North Korea for seven years and is believed to be in his mid-30s, wanted to bring North Korea "into the real world".

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"South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula".

The Trump administration has made clear it regarded the arrests as politically motivated, and had been bitterly critical of North Korea's refusal to grant consular access to the three, other than a brief visit by a US envoy last June.

The president had openly mused about the Korean DMZ as a meeting site, but Singapore was the only other location he had mentioned publicly as a possibility, and that's where the historic summit will occur.

And only in recent months, Trump and Kim held threatening exchanges, with the former vowing to "completely destroy" North Korea in the face of nuclear threat.

Neutral Singapore has long acted as a bridge between the United States and China, with successive prime ministers offering Oval Office occupants cherished geopolitical counsel.

Singapore - nearly 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) south of Pyongyang - represents neutral turf for the two leaders.

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Trump has pushed countries around the world to cut diplomatic and economic ties to Pyongyang as part of his "maximum pressure" strategy.

Singapore, touted for its neutrality, high degree of public order and track record in hosting high-level meetings, was among a list of venues floated for the summit, which would be the first between leaders of the United States and the North.

"I was treated in various ways, but I had a lot of labor work", he told reporters, speaking in Korean.

Pence said that despite Trump's recent praise for Kim, the administration was not ignoring the North's abysmal human rights record.

The three former prisoners are scheduled to arrive at Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington, D.C., at 2 a.m. Thursday and will be met by the president. "This is a wonderful thing that he released the folks early". "I appreciate Kim Jong Un doing this and allowing them to go", he said during a press conference.

It will take place June 12 in Singapore as announced in a tweet by President Trump this morning.

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The specifics of the meeting were finalized in the past few days by Trump's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who returned in the early hours of Thursday from a face-to-face meeting with Kim.



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