Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoAdministration bears down in late push for CIA nominee Former Obama aide: Trump turning Haspel nomination into referendum on ‘dark chapter in our history’ Trump rips criticism of CIA nominee for being ‘too tough’ of terrorists MORE will return from North Korea with three U.S. citizens currently imprisoned in the country, according to a South Korean official.
The official told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency that Pompeo was expected to secure the release of three prisoners being held by the country: Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak Song. In addition, Pompeo is expected to return with the time and date of the proposed meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions unveils ‘zero tolerance’ policy at southern border NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse Trump Jr. mocks Schneiderman after reports he abused women MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“We expect him to bring the date, time and the captives,” the unnamed official told Yonhap.
Pompeo arrived in the country Wednesday morning local time, as Trump told reporters that he hoped a deal could be reached to secure lasting peace with North Korea after months of escalating tensions over the country’s nuclear missile program.
“Plans are being made. Relationships are building,” Trump said at the White House. “Hopefully, a deal will happen and, with the help of China, South Korea, and Japan, a future of great prosperity and security can be achieved for everyone.”
Two of the men were taken captive last year, while Kim Dong Chul has been imprisoned since 2015.
Trump is expected to meet with North Korea’s Kim later this year to discuss the possible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula after North Korea and South Korea announced last month the official end of the Korean War and the two nations began unprecedented cooperation.
The president shocked many in Washington and around the world earlier this year by accepting a meeting with Kim after months of tough talk directed at the North Korean leader. Trump nicknamed Kim “little rocket man” during a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last year, and continued to attack Kim on Twitter for months before announcing the talks.