North Korea to Release 3 Detained Americans

For years South Korea has been using sound equipment to broadcast anti Pyongyang messages. Net

Its foreign minister, Wang Yi, returned on Thursday to Beijing after two days in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, where he met the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, shoring up China's position as the North's best friend.

It said a "key" official at the U.S. National Security Council told Chung Eui-yong, South Korean national security chief, that the report was "not true".

North Korea and the USA were discussing measures to strengthen verification, it said.

China's top diplomat expressed support for a formal end to the state of war on the Korean Peninsula in a rare meeting on Thursday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

"We got Kim Jong Un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today", Giuliani, a member of President Donald Trump's legal team, said on "Fox & Friends".

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A State Department official could not confirm the reports, but added: "We are working to see U.S. citizens who are detained in North Korea come home as soon as possible".

According to the New York Times report, the officials would not say if Trump was seeking options on a partial withdrawal or a full withdrawal, but said the latter was unlikely.

A meeting between Mr Trump and Kim meeting would be the first US-North Korean leadership summit in more than six decades of hostility since the 1950-53 Korean War.

After the meeting, Seoul and Pyongyang confirmed in a joint declaration a common goal of complete denuclearization and agreed to push for multilateral talks to turn the current armistice agreement into a peace treaty.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim discussed the three Americans last month when Pompeo visited North Korea.

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"We can not confirm the validity of these reports", a US State Department spokeswoman said.

Kim Hak Song, an ethnic Korean who was born in China, was detained in May 2017 and also accused of "hostile acts".

North Korea announced on Sunday that it would close its main nuclear test site next month but some USA officials are skeptical that Pyongyang will give up its nuclear arsenal. Kim Dong-chul was arrested in October 2016 and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor on charges of spying. However, she added, "The welfare and safety of US citizens overseas is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State". South Korean media said he was 55 and had been involved in humanitarian work in the North.

Ripley identified the three men as Kim Dong Chol, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk (who is also known as Tony Kim). North Korea has missiles that can reach USA cities, but they remain unreliable and their accuracy is in doubt.

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