09:39 GMT +326 March 2019
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    Mike Pompeo speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington.

    Pompeo Returns to US With Three Americans, Had Good Meeting With Kim - Trump

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    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way back to the United States from North Korea together with three Americans who had been held hostage in the country, President Donald Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Trump said that Mike Pompeo was on his way back to the United States from North Korea together with three Americans who had been held hostage in the country.

    "Secretary Pompeo and his "guests" will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00 a.m. [7:00 a.m. GMT] in the morning. I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!" Trump said in a Twitter message.

    "President Trump appreciates leader Kim Jong Un’s action to release these American citizens, and views this as a positive gesture of goodwill," the White House said in a press release.

    Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk (also known as Tony Kim) were held in a North Korean prison for several months.

    The family of American Tony Kim, who is returning home after being released from a North Korean prison, thanked US President Donald Trump in a statement on Wednesday.

    "We want to thank all of those who have worked toward and contributed to his return home. We also want to thank the President for engaging directly with North Korea," the statement said.

    North Korea’s release of three detained American citizens is the reason to believe US talks with Pyongyang could be fruitful, Defense Secretary James Mattis said during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: US Envoy to UN Won't Rule Out War With DPRK Ahead of Crucial Trump-Kim Talks

    Earlier, Michael Pompeo said he would address the release of American detainees in North Korea during his visit in the country aimed at preparing a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

    In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced that his country would stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as shut down a nuclear test site. Donald Trump had responded by saying that "big progress [was] being made."

    After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit, US President Donald Trump said that he would hold a meeting with the North Korean leader in "the coming weeks."


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    Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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