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Trump hints at progress on North Korean prisoner release

Trump hints at progress on North Korean prisoner release
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE hinted on Wednesday that progress is being made on the release of three U.S. prisoners in North Korea ahead of a summit with the country's leader, Kim Jong Un. 

"As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!" Trump tweeted

The president's tweet follows multiple reports that the Korean-American prisoners were being kept in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, ahead of their possible release.

South Korean activist Choi Sung Ryong told Agence France-Presse that the three men — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak Song — were receiving medical care as U.S. and North Korean officials hammer out a deal. The three men have been imprisoned since 2015.

A renewed push for the prisoners' release came from newly-appointed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo knocks Turkey in NATO speech: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates US to temporarily withdraw some embassy personnel in Baghdad: report MORE, who met with the North Korean leader last month ahead of a sit-down between Kim and Trump. Trump previously confirmed ongoing talks about the potential prisoner release. 
 
"We are negotiating now. We are doing our very best," Trump said last month at a press conference. "I think there's a good chance of doing it. We're having very good dialogue. We will keep you informed. But we are in there and we are working very hard on that."
 
Trump's summit with Kim comes after a historic meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. In the meeting, the two leaders agreed to formally sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War after more than 60 years and to put a freeze on nuclear missile testing.