The three prisoners who were released from North Korea and into the custody of Sec. of State Mike Pompeo thanked those who prayed for them as they returned home to the U.S.
Kim Hak Song, Kim Dong Cul and Kim Sang-Duk credited Secretary Pompeo, President Donald Trump and all of the family members and friends who prayed for their return for securing their release and allowing them to step foot on American soil once again.
“We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return,” the trio said in a joint statement on Wednesday, as reported by Reuters. “God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world.”
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. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence revealed to ABC News that during a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska, one of the detainees asked to go outside because he “hadn’t seen daylight in a very long time.”
Great day to be an American! Because of @POTUS Trump’s strong leadership, tonight we welcomed home three Americans from captivity in North Korea. Honored to be there to say Welcome Home! #GodblessAmerica
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 10, 2018
The prisoners — who had been detained for over a year — met with the president early Thursday morning after they landed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
“The fact we were able to get them out so soon was a tribute to a lot of things,” Trump said while standing on the tarmac. “I just want to say, this is a special night.”
"We are seeing hopeful signs from Kim Jong Un…" @VP Pence sits down one-on-one with @jonkarl to discuss the release of three U.S. prisoners detained in North Korea ahead of President Trump's high-stakes summit: https://t.co/hfI4SyTIZt pic.twitter.com/xzeqsboghK
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 10, 2018
Kim Hak Song had reportedly been arrested for “hostile acts” against the state, while the reason for Kim Sang Duk’s arrest was not specified by North Korea state media. Both were teachers at the Christian-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Kim Dong Chul — a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in South Korea — had been arrested in October 2015 on charges of espionage and other undisclosed crimes, Time reported.
The last time North Korea released a prisoner was in June 2017, and the circumstances were not so joyful. Otto Warmbier tragically and mysteriously died within a week of arriving back in the U.S.