Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12

UC Riverside graduate among 3 hostages released from North Korea US detainees thank Trump and God for release from North Korea
Glenn Montgomery | 11 May, 2018, 04:29

A USA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Singapore has emerged as the likeliest location for the planned summit after Trump ruled out holding it at the heavily fortified demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

He'd said he favored holding the meeting at the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily fortified border separating the Koreas. The president and aides ultimate rejected the idea in favor of a more neutral side, though the final choice is much closer to Kim's home base.

North Korea and the USA are preparing to hold their first ever summit talks.

The last American to be freed - Otto Warmbier, who was jailed for stealing a hotel sign - was released a year ago but was fatally ill, and died shortly after returning home.

"I simply let them know that while we received this news with joy, that Otto was on all our hearts and the family was in our prayers", Pence told "CBS This Morning," adding "We got Otto home previous year, but it wasn't soon enough". "We got Otto home the past year, but it wasn't soon enough".

"We're not under any illusions about who these people are", National Security Council official Victoria Coates told reporters.

"If we can pull it off, if this president can pull it off, listen, I'll be the first person to say congratulations".

North Korean and U.S. officials have been working to organise the summit in recent weeks, amid the easing of tensions in the Korean peninsula.

Opening his remarks to the press this morning, Trump said, "This is a great honor. we want to thank Kim Jong-un who really was excellent to these three incredible people".

"I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful", Trump said.

"You're never certain exactly what you're going to get into when you're dealing with certain governments that you don't always have a friendly relationship with", she said. Trump plans to greet all three of the detainees and welcome them back on American soil.

Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim, and Kim Dong-chul flashed peace signs as they emerged from the airplane, and they appeared to be in decent health. The group is expected to disembark the plane together.

The ceremony, which also featured a giant American flag suspended between the ladders of two firetrucks, emphasized Trump's penchant for the dramatic as he raised expectations for the summit.

Moon is scheduled to visit the White House on May 22 to debrief Trump on his own meeting with Kim and discuss strategy ahead of Trump's summit. "President Trump set conditions for this to happen, and I am thrilled with that". The U.S. had long demanded that North Korea free the men, Kim Dong-chul, Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim, who had been held on charges of espionage and "hostile acts".

Given the high stakes of their meeting, one might expect a tenser, less inviting image.

The announcement comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from North Korea with three USA citizens who had been held captive there. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, are also awaiting the arrival of the former detainees. State Department official Brian Hook was with him and among the first Americans to see the three men. The trio, along with medical personnel that included a psychiatrist, were cloistered in the middle of Pompeo's plane in a small section of 12 business class-size seats that was cordoned off by curtains on both ends.

They arrived into a Washington military base in the middle of the night and were welcomed by President Trump.

Relatively little is known about the men, all Korean-Americans, and the circumstances in which they ended up in North Korean custody.

A series of United States administrations have sent envoys, both official and unofficial, to Pyongyang in the hope of stopping North Korea's provocative nuclear weapons program.

"It has been North Korea's consistent position for decades that U.S. Forces Korea should limit its activities and withdraw", Mount said. It said eight had died, and allowed five others to visit Japan - and they stayed.

The president's announcement came hours after three Americans who were imprisoned in North Korea returned to the United States accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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