Possible Release of US Detainees from North Korea Could Be Imminent

May 3, 2018

Is North Korean trying to extend their recent behavior of good faith? No one can be sure but we are now learning that three American detainees rumored to be released prior to Kim Jong Un's meeting with U.S. President Trump may now be released within the next days.

 

It has been announced that the North Korean government has relocated the three American detainees, Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Dong-chul, ahead of their expected release

 

The three men's release were part of the discussions that took place last month during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's, secret visit to Pyongyang. And while the news of this possible release comes at a particularly interesting time, there is little doubt as to North Korea's motivation for doing this.  Considering it has only been days since South Korea hosted North Korean in Panmunjom, for the inter-Korean summit and a week before the May 9, Trilateral Summit that is to be held in Tokyo between Japan, South Korea and China. 

 

Diplomatic sources in Pyongyang have said the three men have been relocated, but there has not been an official confirmation of their exact whereabouts.  "They are staying in a hotel on the outskirts of Pyongyang," Choi Sung-ryong, a South Korean activist with contacts in the North told AFP , adding the three were being kept separately but "going on tours, receiving medical treatment and eating good food."

 

Kim Dong-chul, a South Korean born American is a pastor and was detained in November 2015.  He was sentenced to ten years of hard labor for spying. Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang-duck have been detained since last year on the suspicion of "hostile acts."  The two men were working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology founded  by evangelical Christians from overseas at the time of their arrests.

 

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