Three US detainees freed in N.Korea, headed home: Trump

Washington (AFP) –


Three American detainees have been freed by North Korea and are heading home with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US President Donald Trump said Wednesday.

"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," Trump tweeted.

Trump said he would be on hand when Pompeo's three "guests" land at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington at 2:00 am (0600 GMT) Thursday.

The release of the three -- Kim Dong-chul, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Hak-song -- had been expected as a goodwill gesture amid preparations for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump said Pompeo had a "good meeting" with Kim and that a date and place had been finalized for the summit, a historic encounter called to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Washington is demanding that North Korea dismantle its nuclear weapons program.