North Korea has freed three U.S. citizens detained for years in the communist country, bowing to another demand of President Trump ahead of his planned meeting with Kim Jong-un.
The three Americans — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim — were released from a North Korean labor camp and sent to Pyongyang for medical treatment, the Financial Times reported.
Though out of the brutal labor camp, the men remain in the grasp of Mr. Kim’s regime.
They currently are believed to be convalescing in a hotel outside Pyongyang.
“We believe that Mr. Trump can take them back on the day of the U.S.-North Korea summit, or he can send an envoy to take them back to the U.S. before the summit,” said Choi Sung-ryong, an activist pursuing release of North Korea’s political prisoners.
The release of the three Americans marked another significant victory for the Trump administration, which also won North Korea’s agreement to discuss giving up its nuclear weapon program as a prerequisite for the talks.
National Security Adviser John R. Bolton had called for the release of the detainees, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly raised the issue during secret face-to-face talks with Mr. Kim last month in Pyongyang.
Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Kim Dong Chul is the president of a company involved in international trade and hotel services. He was sentenced to 10 years on espionage charges.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Post.