Trump Greets 3 Americans Freed by North Korea

Trump officials prepare for Singapore summit with North Korea

CHA: I think the president would say that every option still remains on the table, particularly if this summit fails.

Trump said he intends to meet them when they arrive in Washington at about 2 a.m. Thursday. The former detainees - Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim - had been released Wednesday at the end of Pompeo's visit to North Korea. After greeting them privately on board a government plane, the president and first lady escorted them in front of cameras. And if we can bring USA troops home, that would be great.

Trump and Kim are set to meet in Singapore on June 12.

Japan also welcomed word of the US-North Korea summit meeting on Thursday, hoping it would also pave the way for resolution concerning the abduction of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang.

When asked by reporters how it felt to be home, one of the men answered through a translator: "It's like a dream; we are very, very happy". They later gave the president a round of applause.

The ceremony, which also featured a giant American flag suspended between the ladders of two firetrucks, emphasized Trump's penchant for the dramatic as he raised expectations for the summit.

But Trump, who posted "WELCOME HOME" on his Twitter account on Thursday, suggested their treatment by Kim Jong-un's reclusive regime had been different.

"One of them walked up to me, shook my hand".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea to secure the prisoner's release. Carl Risch, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, and a doctor went to another hotel to pick up the men and bring them to the airport, the official said. "A lot of very good things have happened", Trump said as he greeted the former prisoners at Joint Base Andrews.

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Singapore has emerged as the likely host of the U.S. From Donald Trump calling Kim "rocket man" at the UN General Assembly in September a year ago (and frequently thereafter), to thanking Kim by name on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews early this morning, US-North Korean relations have come a long way-at least in front of the cameras.

"The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th", Trump tweeted.

Some analysts have questioned Trump's haste in setting up a meeting with Kim, saying the summit alone confers enormous prestige on the leader among the North Korean people.

Until now, the only American released by North Korea during Mr Trump's presidency was Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old university student who returned to the United States in a coma last summer after 17 months of captivity and died days later. Their arrests were widely seen as politically motivated and had compounded the dire state of relations over the isolated nation's nuclear weapons.

When Trump and Kim sit down in the sweltering Southeast Asian city state, the two relatively new and untested leaders face a nuclear puzzle that has eluded seasoned diplomats for decades.

In preparation for the high-stakes talks with Kim, Trump plans to consult with South Korean President Moon Jae-In when Moon visits the White House on May 22.

Their release cleared a major obstacle for the upcoming meeting, which will be the first between sitting leaders of the two countries.

Pence also told CBS he spoke Wednesday with the family of Otto Warmbier, an American detainee who died previous year shortly after his release from North Korean captivity.

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