- President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “really was excellent” to the three US citizens just released by the rogue state.
- The North Korean regime is notorious for committing human rights violations and has imprisoned a number of foreigners over the years for vague, suspect reasons.
- “We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who really was excellent to these three incredible people,” Trump said as he welcomed the three men back to the US early on Thursday morning.
President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “really was excellent” to the three US citizens just released by the rogue state.
“We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who really was excellent to these three incredible people,” Trump said as he welcomed the three men back to the US early on Thursday morning.
“They are really three incredible people. And the fact that we were able to get them out so soon was really a tribute to a lot of things, including a certain process that’s taking place right now. And that process is very important,” Trump added.
The president also said he believed the release of the detainees would break records for television ratings.
“It’s very early in the morning. I think you probably broke the all-time, in history, television rating for three o’clock in the morning – that I would say,” Trump said.
— Jeffrey Guterman, Ph.D. (@JeffreyGuterman) May 10, 2018
Trump’s suggestion that Kim was “excellent” to the three men, who were detained for dubious reasons in North Korea and sent to labour camps, is questionable.
The North Korean regime is notorious for committing human rights violations and has imprisoned a number of foreigners over the years for vague, suspect reasons.
The three men released this week were the last Americans being held in North Korea.
Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American student who was detained in North Korea for 17 months, died in June 2017 after he was released by Kim’s regime. He’d returned to the US with “severe brain damage and in a nonresponsive state.” Warmbier’s parents recently filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the North Korean government.
In an interview with “Good Morning America” on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence said it was “heartbreaking” for him to think about how the detainees were treated in North Korea.
“It’s heartbreaking to think of it,” Pence said. “When the plane refueled in Anchorage one of the detainees asked to go outside the plane because he hadn’t seen daylight in a very long time.”
"We are seeing hopeful signs from Kim Jong Un…" @VP Pence sits down one-on-one with @jonkarl to discuss the release of three U.S. prisoners detained in North Korea ahead of President Trump's high-stakes summit: https://t.co/hfI4SyTIZt pic.twitter.com/xzeqsboghK
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 10, 2018
After arriving in the US, the three men – Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song, and Kim Sang Duk – were transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment.
Trump’s disposition toward Kim has shifted drastically in recent months, especially as North and South Korea have rekindled relations.
Throughout 2017, Trump and Kim were engaged in a war of words, routinely trading threats and insults from across the globe.
Now that the US and North Korea plan to hold a summit to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, however, Trump’s tone has changed. The release of the three US citizens is widely being viewed as a goodwill gesture in relation to the impending talks.
Trump and Kim are set to meet in Singapore on June 12.
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