Trump thanks Singapore PM for hosting US-N Korea summit

President Donald Trump from left greets Tony Kim Kim Hak Song seen in the shadow and Kim Dong Chul three Americans detained in North Korea for more than a year as they arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Md. Thursday

A summit of the leaders of South and North Korea took place in South Korea on April 27, which political scientists described as a precursor to the Kim Jong-un-Trump meeting. "I mean, frankly, we didn't think this was going to happen, and it did".

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday reported that North Korean leader Kim "warmly greeted" Pompeo on Wednesday and "sincerely congratulated him on his recent official assumption as secretary of state".

Then "The Late Show" played a clip of Trump doing exactly that.

Speaking to the media on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews Air Force Base, Kim Dong Chul said his release felt "like a dream". "This is a special night for these three really great people and congratulations on being in this country", Trump told reporters at the airbase.

The freed prisoners appeared exhausted but in excellent spirits, flashing peace signs and waving their arms as they emerged from the aircraft. With U.S. help, those countries recovered from the devastation of conflict.

"So far, the powers are not ready to give each other what each of them is seeking", the expert said.

The three former prisoners are Korean-Americans.

The public display stood in stark contrast to the low-key, private reception that the State Department had envisioned, in keeping with a practice of trying to protect potentially traumatized victims from being thrust into the spotlight so soon after an ordeal.

The three men, along with medical personnel, including a psychiatrist, were cloistered in the middle of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's plane in a small section of 12 seats that was cordoned off by curtains on both ends.

The three men had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in labour camps.

Trump said he will not disclose whether he will have any personal conversations with Kim as they prepare for their historic summit in the coming weeks. The U.S. managed to have several Americans who had been imprisoned in North Korea returned on Wednesday.

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Following the return to the United States of three USA citizens detained by Pyongyang, Abe said the Trump-Kim summit will lead to progress on the Japanese abduction issue.

Family members of prisoner Tony Kim saying they "thank God" for his safe return.

"We wish these Americans and their families the best, as they reconnect after a very hard time apart", Pompeo said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly pushed for Trump to raise the issue of repeated abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea in his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un.

"The United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to achieving the permanent, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", Pompeo told reporters on Friday.

While no formal agenda for the Kim-Trump meeting has been announced, Trump's first priority will undoubtedly be to get the North Korean to agree to dismantle his country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

But South Korea's President Moon reached out to the North, reopening direct talks, and when Kim invited Trump to a summit to discuss disarmament the mood changed.

The U.S. president's unconventional approach to global politics - and the presidency in general - also will be in the spotlight at the Trump-Kim Singapore summit.

But Pence says the USA believes "North Korea has taken steps that indicate this may be an opportunity for a breakthrough" on the Korean Peninsula. Warmbier died shortly after being returned home from North Korea in a coma past year. "We had said to them all along that is something we would want".

Government officials confirmed ten Americans were released from North Korea during his administration.

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