Shortly after arriving in Pyongyang for meetings with North Korean officials, news broke that the new US Secretary of State may have a big surprise when he returns to the US: according to Yonhap, which cited a South Korean presidential official, North Korea is expected to release three U.S. citizens held in the communist state “in an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of a historic meeting between its leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.”
The official reportedly added that Pompeo was expected to return with “the exact time of the Trump-Kim summit, along with the three U.S. captives in North Korea.”
“We expect him to bring the date, time and the captives,” the official said, while speaking on condition of anonymity.
Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang earlier in the day, according to reports, marking his second trip to the reclusive North in less than a month, although this one not nearly as top secret as his first one over Easter.
Trump earlier said the location of his meeting with Kim has already been set.
Pompeo earlier said the North’s release of the three U.S. citizens would be a “great gesture,” noting the U.S. has been asking for their freedom for 17 months. Pompeo was earlier expected to bring the three captives through the inter-Korean border, but the Cheong Wa Dae official said that will likely not be the case. The three U.S. citizens are all said to be Korean-Americans.
It was not clear when Pompeo is set to leave Pyongyang.