North Korea preparing to release USA detainees: activist

Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae President Moon Jae-in is seen holding a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for reducing the number of U.S. troops in South Korea, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing several people briefed on the deliberations.

"The visit by the Chinese foreign minister, the first in 11 years, appears to be part of that effort".

The United States now has around 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, which North Korea has long demanded be removed as one of the conditions for giving up its nuclear and missile programs.

Explaining the reason behind this, Beth Fuller from the charity Open Doors told Premier: "For Christians, because they dare to say there's a higher authority than Kim Jong-un and his ruling elite, they are just immediately arrested, imprisoned and quite frequently killed if their faith is discovered".

A year ago the North staged its most powerful nuclear test to date and launched missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland as Kim and Trump traded threats of war and personal insults, sparking global security fears.

The visit precedes a planned meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.

"China is willing to strengthen communication with North Korea and continue to play a positive role in seeking a political solution to the Korean peninsula issue", Wang said.

"Certainly, that would be an incredible step and certainly a sign of goodwill moving into the summit, moving into these discussions with North Korea", Ms Huckabee Sanders said in an interview with Fox News.

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"We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea", Trump continued.

Kim and Moon during the summit promised to work toward the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, though they did not mention specific plans or timetables.

On Wednesday, South Korean media reports quoted a South Korean activist who said North Korea had moved the three Americans from a labor camp to a hotel on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

China also fully supports a resolution of North Korea's "reasonable and legitimate security concerns" and gives its full support for the improvement of inter-Korean relations, Wang said.

The two leaders took a private walk together on a bridge after Mr Kim crossed through the checkpoints to South Korea and analysts have been scouring the video footage to see what was said.

North Korea has apparently agreed to release three American citizens ahead of a U.S.

Some members of the administration were frustrated as reports of the American detainees' release seemed to get ahead of official USA pronouncements - fueled partly by the President's own lawyer. They have reportedly been held in a labor camp.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in today set up a government commission to implement the agreements reached at his recent meeting with the leader of the Democratic People " s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong-un.