Release of Americans held in North Korea 'imminent,' source says

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North Korea has released three USA detainees in the country, according to media reports, and it meets some of President Donald Trump demands for Pyongyang to demonstrate sincerity before the historic meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Only one American has been released from North Korean detention during the Trump's presidency: Otto Warmbier.

Wang, who was expected to meet his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho during his stay, was greeted by vice foreign minister Ri Kil Song and other officials at Pyongyang airport on Wednesday.

Reuters news service reported that an unnamed American official said the three have been put in a hotel near the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, however, said Thursday she didn't have an official statement about the potential release.

Two weeks before Kim Hak-song was arrested, Kim Sang-duk - also known as Tony Kim - was detained on espionage charges. The report, which cited South Korean activist Choi Sung Yong, said that the USA and North Korea "are known to be in talks over their possible repatriation".

This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information is made available.

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The South's presidential office says that Moon wants the 3 countries to jointly express support for the declaration signed by Moon and Kim at the inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom last week. They have reportedly been held in a labor camp.

Kim Jong Un is turning on the charm ahead of his summit with Donald Trump, adding pressure on the USA president to ease sanctions against North Korea even before it's made any significant concessions.

The Trump administration is reportedly close to securing the release of three United States citizens who've been detained in North Korea.

South Korean media reports on Wednesday quoted a South Korean activist as saying North Korea had relocated the three Americans from a labor camp to a hotel on the outskirts of Pyongyang. It added that the US urged the committee "to thoroughly probe the true state and take steps". Moon's administration said Monday it would begin removing loudspeakers near the border to build trust, while North Korea announced that it would align its time zone with South Korea.

Tony Kim was detained at Pyongyang's airport in April 2017 and accused of unspecified "hostile acts" against the North Korean state.

He was detained in 2015 on spying charges and sentenced to 10 years' hard labour in 2016. "You'll see some very good announcements very shortly", he said. Some South Korean analysts believe Wang would specifically seek Kim's commitment that the process on formally ending the war would include China.

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