Trump, Giuliani hint at release of Americans detained in North Korea
“As everybody is aware,” Trump tweeted, “the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!”
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, appeared to confirm the news Thursday morning during a FOX News appearance in which he remarked: “We’ve got Kim Jong Un impressed enough to release three prisoners today.”
The developments follow last week’s historic meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump’s new national security adviser, John Bolton, earlier said that releasing the Americans — Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul and Kim Sang-duk, who also goes by Tony Kim — would be a “demonstration of their sincerity” in the lead-up to the U.S.-North Korea summit.
Relatives of one of the men said they are “hopeful” amid the unconfirmed reports that they could soon be released.
South Korean media reports quoted a local activist as saying North Korea had relocated the trio from a labor camp to a hotel on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
“We cannot confirm the validity of these reports,” a State Department official said.
Two of the three prisoners were only jailed after Mr Trump’s inauguration last year and amid an escalating feud between the Republican and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.