White House Press Secretary: U.S. “Cautiously Optimistic” about Three Hostages’ Release

PRIOR TO “SUMMIT” BETWEEN TRUMP AND NORTH KOREAN DICTATOR

by Sharon Rondeau

(May 3, 2018) — In an interview beginning at approximately 8:25 a.m. EDT on the FNC show “Fox & Friends,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not say definitively if the three U.S. citizens held by North Korea in a labor camp will be released on Thursday.

However, she twice stated that the administration is “cautiously optimistic” that the hostages’ release could occur in a sign of “goodwill” prior to the anticipated meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un for which a date has not yet been set but is expected to take place in the near future.

Earlier on Thursday, newly-minted White House attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared on the same show to indicate that the hostages, Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang-duk, and Kim Dong Chul, could be freed by North Korea today.

Two were associated with a Christian-funded university in Pyongyang, while a third was accused and “convicted” of espionage in April 2016 through his business activities and sentenced to ten years of hard labor.

North Korea’s infamous labor camps have enslaved hundreds of thousands over “decades” in barbaric conditions, according to The Washington Post.

On Wednesday night, Trump seemed to suggest in a tweet that more news is to come following reports by a few outlets that a South Korean source confirmed that the three men were moved from the prison camp to a Pyongyang hotel in early April for “education” purposes.

On Wednesday, northjersey.com reported that “Relations between the Washington and Pyongyang have grown particularly tense as North Korea has pushed ahead with a range of military tests that threaten their neighbor to the south” without mentioning Jong-Un’s recent pledges to abandon his nuclear program and cease his country’s ongoing “war” with South Korea.

Last Friday, Jong-Un became the first North Korean head of state to step into South Korea in a dramatic televised walk across the two nations’ demilitarized zone (DMZ) guarded by U.S. and South Korean soldiers following the armistice of 1953.

 

 

 

 

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