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North Korea-US talks: Who are North Korea's American detainees?

04 May, 2018, 10:04 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • North Korea-US talks: Who are North Korea's American detainees?

The Trump administration is reportedly close to securing the release of three USA citizens who've been detained in North Korea.

Cindy and Fred Warmbier said in the civil suit filed at Washington District Court that their son was imprisoned by North Korea after being forced to confess to stealing a poster while he was on a tourist visit in early February 2016.

Talk of the release also comes less than a week after a historic summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at which Kim pledged to shut down his nuclear testing site within weeks. Wang became the highest-ranking Chinese official to travel to North Korea in 11 years. So we know that they've had some contact with USA officials.

The three individuals - Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang-duk - are the last Americans being held by the reclusive nation. The U.S. exhibition squad included former players Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, Vin Baker, Craig Hodges, Doug Christie, Sleepy Floyd and Charles D. Smith.

If North Korea wants to use the release as a sign of goodwill, it may want to avoid last year's outrage after American college student Otto Warmbier was released from a North Korean prison in a coma, only to die a week later.

This would require close coordination with Seoul, although officials in the South Korean president's office have said there have been no official requests to prepare the venue for the summit.

President Donald Trump earlier on Wednesday alluded to the release in a tweet.

Tony Kim's family told Reuters, through a spokesman, that they were hopeful but had not heard anything from Kim since last June.




USA Today writes, "A month before his trial, he supposedly apologized for trying to steal military secrets for South Koreans".

CNN said on Thursday that North Korea would imminently release three Americans held as prisoners, as expectations grew that Pyongyang would make the gesture ahead of an unprecedented U.S.

Even after he was elected president, Trump remained on the offensive with his words and often referred to Kim as "little rocket man".

China will support North Korea's efforts to rebuild its economy and is willing to continue playing a positive role to seek a political resolution for the Korean peninsula, its top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi said.

An official on the National Security Council gave the assurance in a meeting with Moon's top security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who is now in Washington for talks on Trump's upcoming summit with Kim.

Kim Sang-deok formerly taught accounting at Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China, near the North Korean border.

The two leaders took a private walk together on a bridge after Mr Kim crossed through the checkpoints to South Korea and analysts have been scouring the video footage to see what was said.

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