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He said on their arrival that he believed Kim, who has led North Korea for seven years and is believed to be in his mid-30s, wanted to bring his country "into the real world".

Trump previously stated he wished to hold the historic meeting at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the fortified border area in between the two Koreas, but reports indicate his advisers preferred the more neutral location of Singapore.

He thanked Kim for allowing the detainees to return with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his visit to Pyongyang.

The three men released this week were the last Americans being held in North Korea. "When the plane refueled in Anchorage one of the detainees asked to go outside the plane because he hadn't seen daylight in a very long time".

Pence also told CBS he spoke Wednesday with the family of Otto Warmbier, an American detainee who died past year shortly after his release from North Korean captivity. Singapore has diplomatic ties with North Korea but suspended all trade with Pyongyang in November past year as US-led worldwide sanctions were tightened following a series of provocative actions by the reclusive state.

The president thanked Kim for the trio's release, describing it as a gesture of "goodwill" ahead of the denuclearization talks. "We want to tell him he's soon going to be a grandfather".

Donald Trump welcomes back three United States prisoners released from detention in North Korea.

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He says, "We have no illusions about that".

At a summit last month, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, although the means of achieving this were not detailed.

"I think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful", Mr. Trump said.

He added of the talks between his administration and the North Korean government, "It's never been taken this far". Trump tweeted to his 51.7 million followers on Thursday. The three freed Americans, along with President Trump and the First Lady emerged from the plane to applause and cheers.

The freed prisoners appeared exhausted but in excellent spirits, flashing peace signs and waving their arms as they emerged from the aircraft.

"Security will be top notch and media can come", Mike Green, a former White House National Security Council official, said in an email to Yonhap.

MBS has been flagged as a venue for the summit, given that one of President Trump's major donors, Mr Sheldon Adelson, is chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp which owns the Singapore integrated resort.

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Pompeo had secured their release in Pyongyang after meeting with Kim on final plans for the Trump-Kim summit.

The men are now at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for what's called "decompression time". A quick trip to Pyongyang was also seen as bad optics for Trump, U.S. officials said.

State Department officials refused to discuss anything but the most basic details of their conditions, citing privacy concerns.

Relatively little is known about the men, all Korean-Americans, and the circumstances in which they ended up in North Korean custody.

He added that the prisoners' release showed relations between the United States and North Korea were on a "new footing".

But the swiftness in the development of events concerning North Korea has analysts anticipating potentially historic outcomes.

MARTIN: We should mention you were dropped from consideration to be the USA ambassador to South Korea because of your opposition to this idea of a pre-emptive USA strike in North Korea.

Pakistan coal mine blasts kill over 20 workers
Mines in Pakistan are operated by the semi-autonomous Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation. Another seven people died in a separate blast on Saturday, which also wounded two people.


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