President Donald Trump said Wednesday that three American prisoners released from North Korea were headed home, a sign of potential good will ahead of Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In a tweet, Trump said “the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting” were accompanying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his way back from a visit to North Korea.
The news of the release comes as U.S.-North Korea relations have reached a relatively constructive and warm phase. It marks a considerable de-escalation from last year, when Trump and Kim exchanged heated barbs that stoked fears the world was on the brink of nuclear conflict. The North also repeatedly tested missiles and threatened the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
Trump revealed Tuesday that Pompeo was on his way to North Korea to further set the stage for the summit with Kim, spurring intense speculation that the new top U.S. diplomat would also secure the release of the three men.
As buzz built about their possible release, various media reports said that the American men — Kim Hak-Song, Kim Sang-Duk and Kim Dong-Chul — had been getting medical treatment. Trump said Wednesday that “they seem to be in good health.”