White House ‘Can’t Confirm’ Whether 3 Americans Will Be Released from North Korean Custody

By Melanie Arter | May 3, 2018 | 11:08 PM EDT

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Wednesday that it can’t confirm the validity of reports that three Americans being held by North Korea are going to be to released soon.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, President Donald Trump tweeted that he’s hopeful that three American hostages held at a North Korean labor camp will be released.

“As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail,” the president tweeted. “Stay tuned!”

At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to verify claims made by Trump’s lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made, that the three Americans will be released on Wednesday.

“We can't confirm the validity of any of the reports currently out about their release, but we certainly would see this as a sign of goodwill if North Korea were to release the three Americans ahead of discussions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un,” Sanders said.

Fifty-nine-year-old Tony Kim, who was teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was detained in North Korea on April 22, 2017 and accused of “criminal acts of hostility” against the Kim Jong-Un regime.

Meanwhile, 64-year-old American businessman Kim Dong Chul was arrested in 2015 and charged with subversion and espionage and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in 2016. Also, 55-year-old Kim Hak-Song, who also taught at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was detained in 2017 on suspicion of committing “hostile acts” against the regime.

 

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