Now Free, Americans Detained By North Korea Are Greeted by Trump

By Charlotte Cuthbertson

WASHINGTON—Three Americans took their first breaths of freedom as they stepped off their plane in Maryland early Thursday morning.

The three, who had been imprisoned in North Korea, were greeted by President Donald Trump and the First Lady on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence also attended.

The weather was balmy and the mood festive as crowds gathered to witness the homecoming. A massive American flag, held up by two fire trucks with extended ladders, created the backdrop for a grandstand set up on the tarmac.

“The greatest achievement will be to denuclearize the whole [Korean] peninsula,” Trump said after he had met with the men on the plane before they diembarked. “We very much appreciate that [Kim] allowed them to go before the meeting. We have a very good chance of doing something meaningful.

%image_alt%
President Donald Trump greets the three Americans who arrived back in the United States after being imprisoned in North Korea, in Maryland, on May 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“I think [Kim] did this … because he wants to bring his country into the real world,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens. We’re talking about a few weeks.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled back to the United States at the same time as the three men.

The men are: Kim Dong-chul, Kim Sang-duk, and Kim Hak-song.

Kim Dong-chul had been in prison since October 2015. Kim Sang-duk and Kim Hak-song were arrested in April and May last year, respectively.

The families of the returnees are not at the airport, according to the White House.

One of the men said being home again “was like a dream, and we’re very, very happy.”

One of the men was asked how he was treated in North Korea.

“We were treated in many different ways. For me, I had to do a lot of labor, but when I got sick, I was also treated by them,” he said.

After arriving and meeting with the president, the returnees were taken by bus to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment. The White House is referring any questions about their medical condition to the State Department.

%image_alt%
President Donald Trump greets the three Americans who arrived back in the United States after being imprisoned in North Korea, in Maryland, on May 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Trump said on Twitter on May 9 that the date and time had been set for the talks between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump said he will reveal the details of the meeting sometimes in the next few days, but that it won’t take place in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. .

The release and return of the detainees is another major concession by Kim Jong Un ahead of the upcoming meeting with Trump. Kim has already agreed to complete denuclearization and peace with South Korea at a summit between the two countries in April.

%image_alt%
President Donald Trump greets the three Americans who arrived back in the United States after being imprisoned in North Korea, in Maryland, on May 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
%image_alt%
President Donald Trump greets the three Americans who arrived back in the United States after being imprisoned in North Korea, in Maryland, on May 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
%image_alt%
President Donald Trump greets the three Americans who arrived back in the United States after being imprisoned in North Korea, in Maryland, on May 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

From The Epoch Times

 

Recommended video:

“I Was a Communist Slave”

 
 
 

Kim Committed To Complete Denuclearization and US Talks, Asks For Make-Up Summit With Seoul

Kim Committed To Complete Denuclearization and US Talks, Asks For Make-Up Summit With Seoul
SEOUL–North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to ...
READ MORE >
 
US

Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads to the US Gulf

Subtropical Storm Alberto Heads to the US Gulf
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Florida and Mississippi launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a ...
READ MORE >
 
US

Hawaii Street Swallowed by ‘Lava Tide’ as Many More Homes Burn

Hawaii Street Swallowed by ‘Lava Tide’ as Many More Homes Burn
PAHOA, Hawaii—A tide of molten rock turned a Hawaii street into a volcanic wasteland on Friday as the ...
READ MORE >
 

Korean Leaders Hold Surprise Second Summit

Korean Leaders Hold Surprise Second Summit
SEOUL—South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday, ...
READ MORE >