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Nauert: North Korea release of detainees a ‘step in the right direction’

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Friday said she believes the recent release of American prisoners from North Korea is a sign of progress as the U.S. prepares for negotiations with leaders there on nuclear development.

“I think it’s a positive step in the right direction that the three American prisoners were released,” Nauert said on CNN’s “New Day,” when asked about President Trump’s recent praise of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the release.

At a welcoming ceremony for the three U.S. citizens held captive in North Korea for years, Trump credited Kim for being “excellent to these three incredible people,” despite the ruler’s long list of human rights abuses within his country.


“When the president spoke in a positive sense about Kim Jong Un and his willingness to do that, sure, that is a positive development. We want to make progress with the North Korean regime, and that’s something that we’ve talked to them very clearly about,” Nauert added.

The spokeswoman claimed the Trump administration has made more diplomatic progress with North Korea than the past administration, as top officials are preparing Trump for a historic summit with Kim next month.

Trump announced Thursday that he will meet with Kim in Singapore where they are set to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Tags Donald Trump Korean summit Singapore U.S.-North Korea summit

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