May 20, 2018

Chinese Foreign Minister Hold Talks With N. Korean Counterpart in Pyongyang

04 May 2018, 10:45 | Rufus Hill

For years South Korea has been using sound equipment to broadcast anti Pyongyang messages. Net

For years South Korea has been using sound equipment to broadcast anti Pyongyang messages. Net

However, there was no mention in last week's declaration by Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of the withdrawal of USA forces from South Korea. We follow the developments here.

South Korean media reported Wednesday that a South Korean activist said North Korea had moved the three in early April.

It said a "key" official at the U.S. National Security Council told Chung Eui-yong, South Korean national security chief, that the report was "not true".

"We got Kim Jong-un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today", Rudy Giuliani told Fox News. A meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected in the coming weeks, although arrangements have yet to be announced.

China is considered the main economic lifeline for North Korea, despite condemnation of its nuclear and missiles tests and implementing United Nations punitive measures against the North.

The three Korean-Americans are Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul.

But amid raised hopes about the fate of the men, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: "we can't confirm the validity of any of the reports now out about their release".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump would prioritize a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to prevent potential nuclear war over being interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

North Korea has moved three American prisoners from a labour camp to a hotel ahead of the planned summit with the USA, a South Korean activist said.

A fourth American detainee, Otto Warmbier, died in June 2017 - just days after he was repatriated to the US with severe brain damage.

"Wang Yi had a mission: to coordinate with the North Koreans on how to talk with Trump", he said.

Kim has not released the three current USA detainees, and there has been no official announcement from Pyongyang about it.

Kim Hak-song worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) and was held on suspicion of "hostile acts" on 6 May 2017.

The Gallup Korea poll was conducted between March 13 and 15, with 1,003 South Koreans over 19 contacted over telephone.

Two of the three hostages were detained in 2017, after Trump had assumed office. It would appeal to his political base, save the United States money and give him a valuable chit in his negotiation with Kim.

What's been shared between Kim and China's top diplomat is not known.

The South Korean government reiterated this week that the troops were still needed and would not be pulled out as a result of a peace treaty with North Korea.

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