Pompeo Will Return With All U.S. Citizens Imprisoned in North Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning on returning from North Korea with three U.S. citizens who are currently detained in the country, a South Korean official said.

According to Reuters, the official told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency that Pompeo was expected to secure the release of three prisoners being held by the country: Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang Duk, and Kim Hak Song.

Pompeo is also expected to come back with the exact date and time for the proposed summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“We expect him to bring the date, time and the captives,” the unnamed official told Yonhap.

Reuters reported that Pompeo arrived in North Korea on Wednesday morning local time, as President Trump said that he hopes an accord can be reached in order to secure lasting peace with North Korea after a year of tensions over the country’s nuclear missile program.

“Plans are being made. Relationships are building,” Trump said at the White House. “Hopefully, a deal will happen and, with the help of China, South Korea, and Japan, a future of great prosperity and security can be achieved for everyone.”

Two of the men held were imprisoned last year, while Kim Dong Chul has been a prisoner since 2015.

Trump and North Korea’s Kim are set to meet later this year as part of the negotiations for a possible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula after North Korea and South Korea announced last month the official end of the Korean War and the two nations began unprecedented cooperation.

Washington and the rest of the world were surprised earlier this year when Trump accepted a meeting with Kim after months of tough talk directed at the North Korean leader.

Trump called Kim “little rocket man” during a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last year while continuing to mock Kim on Twitter for months before announcing the talks.

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