The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) (North Korea) on Thursday welcomed the release of three US nationals by North Korea, saying the move “will offer an opportunity to further address human rights and humanitarian concerns.” It is “another important building block for the prospects of peace” for the two Koreas and beyond.
“I have consistently advocated for the release of these foreign detainees, who were reportedly under arbitrary detention and prevented from enjoying their basic freedoms,” said Tomás Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK (North Korea).
Kim Hak Song, Kim Sang-duk (“Tony Kim”) and Kim Dong-chul were released on Wednesday ahead of talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur urged North Korea to release six South Korean nationals, including three pastors, who are still being held in the DPRK.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump welcomed home the three American detainees released by North Korea. Asked if this was his proudest achievement, President Trump said, “It’s a great honour. But the true honour is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons.”
Of the upcoming summit with the North Korean leader, President Trump said: “I think that we’re going to have… a very big success… I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful.”