Pompeo expected to return from N.Korea with US captives

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Seoul, May 9 (IANS) The South Korean government on Wednesday said it expects US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to return from his Pyongyang visit accompanied by the three US citizens held prisoners in North Korea.

The move would constitute a goodwill gesture of the Kim Jong-un regime ahead of the upcoming Washington-Pyongyang summit, Efe news reported.

“We expect him to bring the date, time and the captives,” a spokesperson for the South Korean Presidential Office told Yonhap news agency.

The details of the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim have not been revealed yet.

Pompeo on Wednesday travelled to North Korea to prepare the first summit in history between Washington and Pyongyang.

He told journalists en route he would re-negotiate with the regime on the release of the three detained US citizens. Kim Dong-chul, 64, Kim Sang-duk, 58, and Kim Hak-song, about 60, — all born in South Korea but who later acquired US citizenship.

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It was not clear whether Pompeo would be meeting Kim during this trip.

Last week, Trump said that a date and location for his meeting with the North Korean leader had already been set, although he refused to reveal any further details.

Till date, the White House has said that the meeting would happen in late May or early June and that several sites, including Singapore and the border between the two Koreas, were being considered. Trump reportedly favouring the latter.

Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang is the second within less than a month to prepare the upcoming summit.

–IANS

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