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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 to sign executive orders focused on women's rights

President Biden. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden will sign executive orders Monday establishing a Gender Policy Council and directing the Department of Education to review the federal law Title IX, according to administration officials.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is signaling its priorities to advance gender equity and equality as women, particularly women of color, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conversation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

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