Pompeo in North Korea to help arrange summit

North Korean leader Kim visits China meets President Xi

Trump said the three men are returning to the United States with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman warned the claims are a "dangerous attempt" to ruin a budding detente on the Korean Peninsula after the summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim, previously a professor at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology was detained by North Korean authorities in 2017 for allegedly "committing criminal acts of hostility aimed at overturning the DPRK".

"We welcome North Korea's decision to repatriate three USA detainees on (May) 9. They seem to be in good health", Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "President Trump appreciates leader Kim Jong Un's action to release these American citizens, and views this as a positive gesture of goodwill".

Two other Americans were also released Wednesday. -North Korea meeting, which is expected to take place in late May or early June. They were separately detained in 2017, and accused of participating in anti-state activities and trying to overthrow the government. He admitted to committing "unpardonable espionage" under the direction of the US and South Korean governments and deeply apologized for his crimes, the North's KCNA news agency said.

Pompeo replied: "That's great", according to the official. The interview was conducted in the presence of North Korean officials, so CNN could not determine whether Kim's comments were made under duress.

She said the Americans "appear to be in good condition and were all able to walk on the plane without assistance".

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported earlier that the three men had been relocated in a hotel near Pyongyang in April.

The Americans, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, are travelling back to the U.S. with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called on North Korean leader Kim today during a previously unannounced visit to Pyongyang.

Japanese officials say they hope the talks will also promote regional trade.

However, North Korea reminded the United States on Wednesday there still was tension between them, warning it against "making words and acts that may destroy the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue", the North's state media said.

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The Times is also calling their release one of the most "tangible" signs that North Korea is committed to improving relations with The United States, and cited an unnamed senior U.S. official who confirmed that it was one of the conditions North Korea had to agree to so that the Trump meeting could be discussed.

On Wednesday, Mr Pompeo met Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the central committee of North Korea's ruling party, for lunch.

"The fact that we have the opportunity to change direction here and go in a more peaceful one and having it occur so quickly is good news", said John McHugh, an Atlantic Council board director and former secretary of the U.S. Army.

Trump said agreement had been reached on a date and venue for the summit and details would be announced within three days.

The historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea has whetted the former's appetite for investments from the USA, according to a South Korean official, as quoted by the Daily Express.

Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S.

Trump also said that, even in the run-up to the meeting, he would continue urging China and other countries to cut off economic help to North Korea until it agrees to give up nuclear weapons.

"This is not a result of sanctions that have been imposed from outside", he added, citing the will of the Korean people.

Trump acolytes declared the release an unbridled political victory, evidence, Vice President Mike Pence said, that "strong leadership and our America First policies are paying dividends".

US officials had been pressing Kim to free the three remaining American detainees as a show of sincerity before the summit.

On Wednesday, Pompeo made an unannounced visit to North Korea to finalise the plans for a historic summit between Kim and Trump, amid speculations that he would return along with the three American detainees.

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