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Sign Of Improving US-North Korea Relations, 3 Americans Released By Pyongyang

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
2045
| May 10 , 2018 , 17:47 IST

In a sign of improving relations between the US and North Korea, Pyonyang has released 3 Korean-American prisoners, who were warmly welcomed to the US by President Donald Trump on Thursday.

The 3 men, identified as Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim had reportedly been prisoners for around a year.

The release was finalised by US Secretary of State Pompeo during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Pyongyang while finalising plans for the upcoming Trump and Kim summit.

"We would like to appreciate that (North Korean leader)Kim Jong Un allowed to release them before the meeting (US-North Korea) summit" President Trump said on the release.

Upon their release, the detainees expressed appreciation to the US government and Trump.

"We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home," they said.

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"We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world," they added.

President Trump hailed the release as a sign of cooling tensions and growing opportunities on the Korean peninsula.

The 3 detainees were accused of anti-state activities and 'hostile acts' against the North Korean government, although the arrests were widely seen as being politically motivated.

North Korea's official news agency, KCNA said that Kim Jong-Un decided to grant amnesty to the three Americans at the "official suggestion" of the US president.

In recent years other Americans have also been detained in North Korea for seemingly small offences, getting freed typically when senior US officials or statesmen personally visited North Korea to bail them out.