The three Americans released by North Korea — Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul — have landed safely at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., the BBC and others reported late Wednesday night.
According to the report, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump entered the plane and emerged a few minutes later with the three men to greet the media.
“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo and the people of the United States for bringing us home,” the three men said in an earlier statement.
“We thank God and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return.”
Statement from the freed Americans, via the State Department: pic.twitter.com/XFxXF3GWGO
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) May 9, 2018
Yay! Welcome home! https://t.co/5AUKLbq2Ig
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) May 9, 2018
According to the BBC:
The three men had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in labour camps.
Their release came during a visit to Pyongyang by Mr Pompeo to arrange details of the meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim.
“I appreciate Kim Jong-un doing this and allowing them to go,” Mr Trump said.
“All indications are at this point that their health is as good as could be given that they’ve been held,” Pompeo said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Joint Base Andrews after securing release of three American detainees from North Korea. pic.twitter.com/b7hXut1d2p
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 10, 2018
This moment taking place at Joint Base Andrews will be something I will never forget.
President Trump is having such a profound impact on the world. What a defining moment.
— Thomas Hern (@ThomasMHern) May 10, 2018
President Trump is on track to denuclearizing the entire Korean peninsula.
It's moments like this at Joint Base Andrews that shape a President's legacy.
President Obama never understood this.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) May 10, 2018
President Trump also nailed the media:
WATCH Trump nail the media at Joint Base Andrews:
Despite the fact that the New York Times said he was missing… Mike did you know you were missing? …They couldn't find him because he was in North Korea." pic.twitter.com/b2Vh9IL2Oe
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 10, 2018
As one person observed, it was a heart-touching moment:
Amazing diplomatic work by Trump and Pompeo 💥
The 3 North Korean hostages arrive at Joint Base Andrews.
In a previous statement the hostages said “God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world”
— Տᗩᑎᗪᖇᗩ ن (@SandraTXAS) May 10, 2018
Here’s a full video of the event provided by the Washington Post. The relevant portion starts at about the 1:08:00 mark.
- Pompeo Returning from North Korea with American Detainees
- The Democrats Would Rather Destroy Trump Than Denuclearize North Korea
- North Korea Announces Freeze on Nuclear Missile Tests
- Politico trashes Otto Warmbier’s father for ‘criticizing North Korea’s Olympic spirit’
- ‘Weapons grade stupid’: Chelsea Handler suggests trading Trump for Kim Jong Un
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