SCHUMER MELTDOWN: Chuck Schumer SLAMS Trump for Prisoner Release

What's Kim Jong-un's Last Name? Mike Pompeo Is Learning the Hard Way

Freed after more than a year in prison, three Americans flew homeward from North Korea late Tuesday toward a big middle-of-the-night celebration featuring President Donald Trump - the latest sign of improving relations between longtime adversaries in the buildup to a historic summit between Trump and North Korea's King Jong Un.

Their release followed talks between Pompeo and Kim about the forthcoming summit, and Trump is expected to welcome them home when they land overnight at Andrews air force base outside Washington.

"Why would Kim. believe any commitments President Trump makes when he arbitrarily tears up an agreement with which the other party is complying?" he asked on Twitter.

KCNA, North Korea's state-run media outlet, reported that Kim had "accepted an official suggestion of the USA president for the release of Americans who have been detained in the DPRK for their anti-DPRK hostilities", using an acronym for North Korea's official name.

Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song-all Americans of Korean descent-were the only known Americans held in North Korea and had been accused of committing espionage or "hostile acts" against the state.

Pompeo had arrived in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, earlier on Wednesday from Japan and headed to its Koryo Hotel for meetings.

Mattis had previously said in April that withdrawing United States troops from the Korean peninsula would be discussed with allies if North Korea demanded it as part of reaching a peace agreement.

"I appreciate Kim Jong Un doing this and allowing them to go", Trump told reporters at the White House. Bae and the three Americans just released - Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul and Kim Sang-Duk, also known as Tony Kim - fall into that category. In an interview with CNN conducted in Pyongyang in January 2016, Kim said he was arrested in October 2015 after spying on behalf of what he called "South Korean conservative elements".




He did not mention that two of the Americans had been detained after he became President.

The North has a history of detaining Americans and using them as bargaining chips, with many only released following a visit by senior U.S. officials. Other Americans taken captive by North Korea have said after their release they were forced into making confessions.

According to North Korea's state media, Kim, 64, ran a company in the North's northeastern Rason special economic zone before his arrest on October 2, 2015.

"If countries in the world think they can detain Americans and get something in return, we'll see many more hostages", he added. "Very exciting!" Trump said in another tweet.

"If there is going to be any long term progress in a relationship with North Korea ... there has to be progress on human rights", he said.

Trump announced Wednesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was returning from North Korea with the three Americans.

Trump is planning a historic summit with the North Korean leader.

The trip is Pompeo's second to North Korea this year.

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