(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Three Americans Released From NK

As "Substantial Progress" Is Made On Summit

May 09, 2018 - 9:46 am
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the release of three Americans from North Korea (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

A U.S. official says that "substantial progress" has been made on plans for a U.S.-North Korean leadership summit during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo';s visit to Pyongyang.

While Pompeo met with top North Korean leaders, including Kim Jong Un, lower-level officials from the two countries were planning the nuts-and-bolts logistics for a meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump.

The U.S. official, who was involved in those talks, said the two sides would meet once again to finalize the details.

No specifics were offered although other officials said Singapore is emerging as the most likely venue. The unprecedented meeting has been slated for this month or early June.

Before seeing Kim, Pompeo met twice with the head of the North's United Front department that oversees relations between North and South Korea.

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9:20 a.m.

The family of one of the Americans freed from North Korea is expressing gratitude for his release.

The family of 59-year-old Toby Kim is thanking "all of those who have worked toward and contributed to his return home." In a statement, the family credited President Donald Trump for engaging directly with North Korea.

"Mostly, we thank God for Tony's safe return," the statement said. It added that the family appreciates "the support and prayers of friends and even strangers during this challenging year."

The statement was forwarded to The Associated Press by Randall Brandt, a spokesman for the family, shortly after Trump announced Wednesday that three Americans were coming home.

The statement urged people to "continue to pray for the people of North Korea and for the release of all who are still being held."

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8:40 a.m.

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."

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!"

 

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