President Trump tweeted early Wednesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way back from North Korea with 3 American detainees. "They seem to be in good health.
I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
The longest-imprisoned of the three, Kim Dong Chul, had been sentenced in April 2016 to 10 years hard labor for espionage. The two others -- Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim -- were working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology when they were detained about a year ago.
The news comes as Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are making plans for a summit that could happen within weeks.
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic meeting in the Demilitarized Zone on April 27, agreeing to work toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and discussing plans to declare a formal end to the Korean War.
Pompeo confirmed in a tweet of his own later Wednesday morning that he had met with Kim while in Pyongyang. He said he had "productive meetings" with the North Korean leader, but did not confirm Mr. Trump's earlier tweet saying the time and place for the summit had been confirmed.
I had productive meetings in Pyongyang with Chairman Kim Jong-un and made progress. I'm delighted to bring home three Americans.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 9, 2018
Very little is known about why the three men were actually detained by North Korea, or what conditions they faced in custody.