At around 3 a.m. EST on Thursday, the President and First Lady greeted the three American prisoners, now freed, who have arrived back in the U.S. after being detained in North Korea.
On behalf of the American people, WELCOME HOME! pic.twitter.com/hISaCI95CB
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
Missionary Kim Dong-chul, teacher Kim Sang-duk and teacher Kim Hak-song arrived with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where the President made sure an incredible display of patriotism awaited them – a huge American flag was hung between two fire trucks.
The President and First Lady greeted the men before they made their way off the plane.
Vice President Mike Pence was also on-hand to greet the men.
They spoke briefly to the large group of reporters that had gathered for the arrival, with the help of a translator.
The three detainees had first arrived in the U.S. in Anchorage, Alaska.
The State Department released a statement on their behalf:
“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home. We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world.”
“We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world,” read a joint statement by the released prisoners.@ErikRosalesCBN covers the full story: https://t.co/CayJLUG6NE
— CBN News (@CBNNews) May 10, 2018
The three men would be taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for evaluation, a White House official said.
Trump announced Wednesday that Pompeo was en route back to the United States from North Korea, and he was bringing home the three Americans who had been detained in the country.
“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,” Trump had tweeted.
Trump on Tuesday said Pompeo was traveling to North Korea to prepare for the upcoming meeting between North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and the President.
A location and date have been set for the meeting, and Trump announced Thursday that it would take place June 12 in Singapore.
“We think relationships are building with North Korea,” Trump had said, adding: “We’ll see how it all works out. Maybe it will [work out], maybe it won’t.”
“It can be a great thing for North Korea, South Korea and Japan,” Trump added.