Trump Says U.S. Did Not Pay for Release of North Korea Prisoners

President Donald Trump on Thursday evening praised the release of the three Americans prisoners that were held in North Korea and have arrived home this week, adding that the U.S. did not pay for their release.

“[North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un did a great service to himself and to his country by doing this. But those hostages came out, with respect, we didn’t pay for them,” Trump said during a rally in Elkhart, Ind. “What he did was the right thing, but they came out for nothing and the others came out for $1.8 billion in cash,” Trump added.

According to The Hill, Trump appeared to be referring to a January 2016 deal in which the Obama administration agreed to pay Iran $1.7 billion to settle a case related to the sale of military equipment before the Iranian revolution.

The payment happened at the same time with the release of five imprisoned American citizens who were released in exchange for seven Iranians detained in the U.S.

The White House at the time denied the allegation that it was a ransom payment.

Trump welcomed the three American prisoners that were released by North Korea Thursday morning, marking an important diplomatic moment between the two nations.

“The fact we were able to get them out so soon was a tribute to a lot of things,” Trump said to a crowd of journalists. “I just want to say, this is a special night.”

On Thursday the date for the planned summit between the two leaders was also confirmed. The White House announced that the meeting will happen on June 12 in Singapore.

“The relationship is good, and hopefully, I mean for all of us, for the world, hopefully, something very good is going to happen,” Trump said at Thursday’s rally.


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