WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way back from North Korea with three American detainees, saying they “seem to be in good health.”
President Trump made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday, saying “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting.”
Trump added that Pompeo had a “good meeting” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump is planning a historic summit with the North Korean leader.
In another Tweet, Trump said Pompeo and the detainees will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2 a.m. Thursday. He says “I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!”
U.S Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) released a statement about the detainees returning home:
“I welcome the news that North Korea released the three remaining U.S. citizens it was detaining. This a testament to the Trump administration’s diplomatic approach which has balanced tough sanctions and united international pressure with openness to a dialogue with the North Korean regime. This strategy helped create the space for today’s release. It is a shame that this couldn’t have come to fruition in time for Otto Warmbier’s safe release. While long overdue, today’s news is a positive step ahead of the forthcoming talks between the United States and North Korea.”
Pompeo was in North Korea to finalize plans for a historic summit between President Donald Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
The trip is Pompeo’s second to North Korea this year. It had not been publicly disclosed when he flew out of Washington under cover of darkness late Monday aboard an Air Force 757.
Trump announced the mission Tuesday afternoon as he laid out the case for withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, another bitter U.S. adversary.
When the flight arrived Wednesday morning in Pyongyang, North Korean officials were on hand to greet Pompeo.