On the 10th of May 2018, three prisoners, Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song, were released from North Korea.

Did anyone negotiate for the release or was it just a show of goodwill by Kim Jong-Un?

  • 6
    VtC as mind reading that can't be verified using publicly available sources / primarily opinion-based. Given this administration's track record of lying, and the fact that North Korea would be unlikely to contradict it on this ahead of upcoming negotiations, we'll probably never know - not any time soon anyway. (FWIW my own money would be on it being a show of goodwill by Kim.) May 11 '18 at 7:05
  • 2
    If the footage shown on yesterday's Late Show episode is anything to go by, it was purely a show of goodwill by Kim. May 12 '18 at 7:05
  • @DenisdeBernardy Goodwill is an interesting take on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that Kim is talking peace not war, but it's very likely that his motives are self serving, not altruism. If he was truly a man of peace, it's unlikely he'd have threatened the United States in the first place. He also wants something in return. A written agreement that South Korean will not arm themselves with Nukes. Ask yourself who benefits most from that proposed agreement? Now, I'm still happy to see peaceful gestures, but lets not forget everything that came before.
    – userLTK
    May 12 '18 at 19:13

The way I see it KCNA said it was by the "suggestion" of Donald Trump (source) . Pompeo's meeting with Kim Jong Un and the context of the summit may have also been factors in making the decision (source). Ultimately, I'd say it was negotiated by Pompeo but Kim Jong Un had various reasons (like international image ahead of the summit) to make him lean on the pro-release side.


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