Report: 3 Americans Held in North Korea Have Been Moved

South Korean activist indicates the plan is to release the men
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2018 4:05 AM CDT
Report: N. Korea Is Preparing to Release 3 Americans
In this April 29, 2016 photo, Kim Dong Chul, center, a US citizen detained in North Korea, is escorted from a courtroom after his trial in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File)

North Korea may be preparing to hand President Trump a major diplomatic victory ahead of his summit with Kim Jong Un, according to a South Korean activist with contacts north of the border. South Korean reports have quoted Choi Sung-ryong as saying three detained Americans have been shifted from labor camps to a hotel near Pyongyang in what appears to be preparation for their release, reports Reuters. North Korea and the US "seem to have decided on a date to release these people," according to Choi, who said they were moved weeks ago. The State Department said it "cannot confirm the validity of these reports," but they are working to see detained Americans "come home as soon as possible."

"As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!" Trump tweeted Wednesday. The three detained Americans are Kim Dong Chul, a pastor who was sentenced to 10 years with hard labor in 2016; Tony Kim, a Pyongyang University of Science and Technology professor detained as he tried to fly out of Pyongyang a year ago; and Kim Hak Song, a fellow professor arrested a week after Tony Kim was detained. According to Choi, Pyongyang plans to release the three men as a gesture of goodwill, and they are now receiving good food and medical care, the BBC reports. (More North Korea stories.)

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