Korea "releasing" 3 USA prisoners

04 May, 2018, 12:04 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Kim Jong-un did not smoke cigarettes during the inter Korean summit. Reuters

The United States government is studying reports that three Americans held in North Korea have been moved from a labor camp.

The prisoners have already been moved from a forced labor camp to a hotel outside Pyongyang and are undergoing a "course", where they are receiving treatment and are being "educated", a North Korean source told Choi Sung-ryong, representative of the families of the prisoners.

Reduced US troop levels are not meant to be a bargaining chip in Trump's planned summit in late May or early June with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme, the "Times" said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday (May 2) there was no immediate confirmation of any change in the detainees' status.

Only one American has been released from North Korean detention during the Trump's presidency: Otto Warmbier. "Stay tuned!" the president tweeted. He suggested there might be more information about their situation soon.

Moon Chung-in said it would be hard to justify the presence of US forces in South Korea if a peace treaty was signed after the two Koreas agreed at an historic summit last week to put an end to the Korean conflict.

During a meeting with a Chinese diplomat on Thursday, Kim Jong Un said he is committed to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to Reuters. In March, Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Moon's remarks followed a proposal from his special adviser Moon Chung-in on the withdrawal of USA forces in South Korea.

The South Korean government on Thursday released a video of preparations for the inter-Korean summit, named "A new beginning: those who made it possible".

Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in at the historic Inter Korean
Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in at the historic Inter Korean

Ripley identified the three men as Kim Dong Chol, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk (who is also known as Tony Kim).

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: We think that that would be an incredible sign of goodwill and certainly a great statement for the North Koreans to make ahead of the summit and the discussions.

The White House can't confirm the validity of reports about the release of three Americans detained in North Korea, Sanders said.

A South Korea-born US citizen, Kim Dong-chul is a pastor in his early 60s.

A fourth American detainee, Otto Warmbier, died in June 2017 - just days after he was repatriated to the USA with severe brain damage.

Kim Hak-song worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) and was held on suspicion of "hostile acts" on 6 May 2017.

In the declaration, Moon and Kim also pledged to sign a multilateral agreement to formally end the Korean War.

China grudgingly went along with Washington's demand a year ago that it support United Nations sanctions meant to deny the North of critical foreign currency.


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