Rumors were flying around today that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was making a trip to North Korea, and for good reason. Trump announced that Pompeo is indeed on a surprise visit in order to prepare for the Trump-Kim summit that is expected to take place sometime soon. The summit would be the first of its kind between the United States and North Korea, and details of the meeting place and date have yet to be announced.
In addition to hashing out details of the summit, many believe that Pompeo is discussing the potential release of three American prisoners who have been under North Korean captivity, reported NBC News. The men are all Korean-American and were detained for crimes ranging from “hostile acts against the republic” to spying on North Korea on behalf of the South Koreans. Whether the men actually committed these crimes, or were pressured into a forced confession, is still unknown.
Although there has been speculation that the three men were moved from labor camps to a hotel, the information has not been confirmed by officials. Also, the release of the three men is not guaranteed, as evidenced by Trump’s comments.
“We will soon be finding out. It would be a great thing if they are. We’ll soon be finding out…We’ll see how it all works out — maybe it will, maybe it won’t.”
However, CBS News is more optimistic, and has detailed that Pompeo is expected to return to America with the three American men. If the men are released as many are hoping, it would set a good tone for the pending summit. Hopefully the men will be in stable health, but fears remain after another American captive, Otto Warmbier, returned to his home from North Korea in a comatose state and passed away days later.
Pres. Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will land in North Korea in about an hour and says the location, time and date is set for the meeting with Kim Jong Un. "We think relationships are building with North Korea. We'll see how it all works out." https://t.co/VPi5iLYHj0 pic.twitter.com/iK8snW9PM8
— CNN (@CNN) May 8, 2018
The prior historic meeting between South Korean President Moo Jae-In and leader Kim Jong Un appeared to be a success, which set the precedent for the potential meeting with Trump. Since then, North Korea has synchronized their time with South Korea, and both have stopped blaring propaganda on their side of the DMZ. However, North Korean citizens reportedly may not know that Kim has agreed to denuclearization, or that he was the one to initiate the meeting request.
Pompeo heads to North Korea ahead of Trump-Kim talks https://t.co/FmjEc8A0B0
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 8, 2018
Also recently, Trump said that the summit was going to take place because of the pressure he put on North Korea, according to the Inquisitr. But Kim didn’t want to hear any of it, saying that Trump was “deliberately provoking the DPRK” with his “misleading” comments.