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Americans detained in North Korea welcomed home by President Tru - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Americans detained in North Korea welcomed home by President Trump

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Latest on President Donald Trump welcoming home Korean Americans released by North Korea (all times local):

7:35 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is revealing new details about the conditions of the three Americans freed by North Korea, saying one was evidently kept from the daylight.

Pence tells ABC News that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told him that, during a refueling stop in Anchorage, “one of the detainees asked to go outside the plane because he hadn’t seen daylight in a very long time.”

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

Pence said: “I simply let them know that while we received this news with joy, that Otto was on all our hearts and the family was in our prayers.”

He adds: “We got Otto home the last year, but it wasn’t soon enough.”

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7:35 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says North Korea has been dealing with the U.S. “in good faith” as President Donald Trump prepares for a historic sit-down with Kim Jong Un.

Speaking to NBC News, Pence says: “In this moment, the regime in North Korea has been dealing, as far as we can see, in good faith.”

Pence says that despite Trump’s recent praise for Kim, the administration is not ignoring the North’s abysmal human rights record.

He says, “We have no illusions about that.”

But Pence says the U.S. believes “North Korea has taken steps that indicate this may be an opportunity for a breakthrough” on the Korean Peninsula.

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3:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump thanked North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for releasing three Americans from captivity, saying he believes Kim wants to reach an agreement on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

Welcoming the three Americans at a military base outside Washington early Thursday, Trump said of Kim, “I really think he wants to do something.”

He added of the talks between his administration and the North Korean government, “It’s never been taken this far.”

Trump said he will not disclose whether he will have any personal conversations with Kim as they prepare for their historic summit in the coming weeks.

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2:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is on board the military plane carrying three Americans released from North Korea during a middle-of-the-night welcome ceremony at a military base outside Washington.

Trump is on hand to greet Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim at Joint Base Andrews, along with many senior administration officials.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump climbed red-carpeted stairs to privately welcome the trio aboard the military C-40. The group is expected to disembark the plane together. The aircraft is parked before a large American flag suspended between two fire trucks.

The three former detainees will be transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment, the White House says.

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2:42 a.m.

A military plane carrying three Americans freed from captivity in North Korea has arrived at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington. President Donald Trump is on hand to greet them.

A Boeing C-40 outfitted with medical facilities arrived at the base at 2:42 a.m., carrying Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim, who were released to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about 20 hours earlier.

Pompeo was in Pyongyang to discuss Trump’s plans to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks. He returned on a separate plane, joining Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the tarmac.

The three former detainees will be transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment.

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2:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington to greet three Korean-Americans as they return to the mainland U.S. after more than a year imprisoned in North Korea.

The president is accompanied by first lady Melania Trump. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, are also awaiting the arrival of the former detainees.

The men were released Wednesday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Pyongyang after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un amid final plans for a Trump-Kim summit.

Pompeo’s plane is expected to arrive at Andrews first, followed by a military medical plane carrying the three men who had been imprisoned. They will then be transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment.

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1:15 a.m.

State Department officials have taken great pains to keep three former North Korean detainees sequestered as they are flown back to the mainland United States.

The three men, along with medical personnel, including a psychiatrist, were cloistered in the middle of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s plane in a small section of 12 seats that was cordoned off by curtains on both ends.

State Department officials refused to discuss anything but the most basic details of their conditions, citing privacy concerns.

The three Korean-Americans — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim — will be greeted by President Donald Trump when they arrive early Thursday at the Washington-area Joint Base Andrews. They were released Wednesday by North Korea.

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12:45 a.m.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has renewed his pledge to win release of Japanese abductees detained for decades in North Korea as he congratulated three Americans’ return home.

The Americans freed after more than a year in North Korea’s prison flew home Wednesday.

Abe congratulated their release as Pyongyang’s forward-looking step ahead of its summit with the U.S., but stressed that many Japanese are still stuck in North Korea.

Abe says he is determined to pursue efforts to bring them home and seek support from the U.S., South Korea and China.

Japan says North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese decades ago to train spies in Japanese language and culture. Pyongyang acknowledged in 2002 abducting 13. It said eight had died, and allowed five others to visit Japan — and they stayed.

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12:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is promising “quite a scene” when three Korean Americans detained in North Korea return to the mainland U.S. after more than a year in prison.

Their freedom is a bonus from the warming of relations between the longtime adversaries.

Despite a middle-of-the-night landing Thursday at the Washington-area Joint Base Andrews, Trump and his wife plan to celebrate in person when the freed men arrive.

The men were released Wednesday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Pyongyang after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un amid final plans for a Trump-Kim summit.

Singapore is the likely site for the historic meeting, late this month or in early June, and Pompeo says it would last one day and possibly a second.

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