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President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is returning from North Korea with the three Americans — Tony Kim, Kim Hak-song, and Kim Dong-chul — who had been detained there.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

More from POTUS: "Secretary Pompeo and his 'guests' will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00 A.M. in the morning. I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!"

Who they are, per the NYT:

  • Tony Kim, detained since April 23, 2017: He spent a month teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. A source told Reuters that his arrest was not related to his teaching: “He had been involved with some other activities outside P.U.S.T., such as helping an orphanage.”
  • Kim Hak-song, detained since May 6, 2017: He also worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Per the Times, "it was not clear whether his arrest was connected with that of Tony Kim two weeks earlier."
  • Kim Dong-chul, detained since 2015: The most mysterious of the prisoners, the Times reports that "Mr. Kim appeared at a government-arranged news conference in Pyongyang [in March 2016] and apologized for trying to steal military secrets in collusion with South Koreans."

A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

"At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other representatives of the United States government traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea on May 9 to prepare for the President’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. During Secretary Pompeo’s visit, the North Korean leadership released three American detainees.  President Trump appreciates leader Kim Jong Un’s action to release these American citizens, and views this as a positive gesture of goodwill.  The three Americans appear to be in good condition and were all able to walk on the plane without assistance. All Americans look forward to welcoming them home and to seeing them reunited with their loved ones."

Go deeper

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."

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