North Korea has released three US citizens who have been held for some years in the country’s labour camps as supreme leader Kim Jong-un awaits a summit with US President Donald Trump, campaigners have claimed.
According to the Financial Times, Choi Sung-ryong, a campaigner for the release of South Korean detainees in North Korea, has said the Korean-American detainees, Kim Dong-cheol, Kim Sang-deok and Kim Hak-seong, were released from a labour correction centre and are now receiving treatment in a hotel near Pyongyang.
Mr. Choi has said:
‘We heard it through our sources in North Korea late last month. We believe that Mr Trump can take them back on the day of the US-North Korea summit or he can send an envoy to take them back to the US before the summit.’
This comes after President Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, said on Sunday: ‘If North Korea releases the detained Americans before the North-US summit, it will be an opportunity to demonstrate their authenticity.’
Last Friday, the two leaders of the Koreas held an historic summit and agreed on a pledge to work for the ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula’.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has since said that Donald Trump ‘should win the Nobel Peace Prize‘ to reward his efforts for bringing North Korea to the negotiation table and for pushing Kim Jong-un to end his nuclear programme.’