Giuliani says 3 Americans held by North Korea to be released Thursday

04 May, 2018, 10:47 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • South, North Korea remove propaganda loudspeakers as ties thaw

In a meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday, Kim reaffirmed that a strong relationship with China was "a firm strategy" for the North, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

"If the USA goes to the negotiation and says, 'Will you give up your nuclear weapons now and if not, we stop talking, ' then there will be no deal", he also added.

South Korea's presidential office said Friday that a U.S. National Security Council official had dismissed the report as false.

The Times report earlier Friday cited unidentified officials who said that reduced troop levels weren't meant to be a bargaining chip in Trump's talks with Kim.

The United States has been demanding the North free Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Dong-chul and reports have said the two sides were close to reaching a deal on their release.

The US Defense Department has not received any orders to withdraw troops from the Korean Peninsula and is maintaining the same posture in the region, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White said, Sputnik reported.

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He was referring to Joseph Yun, the State Department's former North Korea negotiator, who saw the detainees on a visit to Pyongyang previous year.

Kim Dong-chul, a South Korea-born American pastor, has been detained in the North since 2015 when he was arrested for spying.

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Three Americans held in a North Korean prison are set to be released, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday, "As everybody is aware, the past administration has always been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean labor camp, but to no avail".

But it's expected the two could have discussed last week's inter-Korean summit as well as China's role in North Korea's move towards denuclearization and the process of putting a formal end to the Korean War by drafting a permanent peace treaty.

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China has long called for a return to six-nation talks on the North's nuclear program, and welcomed the Koreas' summit as a way to reduce tensions. He worked in agricultural development at an experimental farm run by the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

His latest push coincides with tense negotiations with South Korea over how to share the cost of the military force.

Wang expressed hope that the highly-anticipated dialogue with the United States leads to substantial progress.

Defining what is denuclearization is also a "tricky" question because it could cover as far as American ships in the vicinity, American aircraft and missiles back in the US, according to him.

China holds substantial economic leverage, but in the heightened strategic competition between it and the U.S., it worries that Kim is using that rivalry to reduce dependence on China, his country's longtime benefactor.

However, a statement released by the office of the South Korean president Friday refuted suggestions the USA was considering a reduction in troop numbers.

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