Sunday, 21 October, 2018

North Korea looks set to release American detainees

Tokyo to host summit on North Korea Is Kim Jong-un the World's Greatest Salesman?
| 04 May, 2018, 14:21

Following Trump's remarks, South Korean finance minister Kim Dong-yeon said it was not "ideal to link an economic issue with such an issue [the withdrawal of U.S. troops]".

President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down USA troops in South Korea, weeks before he is scheduled to hold a landmark meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, according to several people briefed on the deliberations.

But Trump's meeting with Kim injects an unpredictable new element.

CNN, citing an unnamed source, said on Thursday the prisoners' release was imminent, adding the groundwork for the move was laid two months ago when North Korea's foreign minister traveled to Sweden and proposed the idea.

Trump has promised to ensure that North Korea does not get the capability to build a nuclear bomb that can hit the mainland United States. They now pay more than $800 million a year, about half of what it costs to keep 28,500 soldiers on the Korean peninsula, but the Trump administration has suggested they should pay almost the entire cost. "Stay tuned!" he tweeted.

The summit between Trump and Kim is expected to take place in late May or early June.


"Wang Yi had a mission: to coordinate with the North Koreans on how to talk with Trump", he said.

Relations between China and North Korea have undergone a vast outward improvement following Kim's recent visit to Beijing. Kim Dong-chul, a pastor, was arrested for proselytizing in the Rajin-Sonbong special economic zone in October 2015. They had reportedly been held at a labor prison camp.

North Korea has apparently agreed to release three American citizens ahead of a U.S.

Said Nauert: "We've certainly been following their cases for quite some time [but] we can't confirm the validity of those reports at this point". However, she added, "The welfare and safety of US citizens overseas is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State".

"We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea", Trump continued.

A fourth American detainee, Otto Warmbier, died in June 2017 - just days after he was repatriated to the USA with severe brain damage. They were employees at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a private university in the North's capital. Kim Hak-song also had been working at PUST.

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