American detainees in N. Korea could be released on Saturday: sources

SEOUL, There is the possibility that three American detainees in North Korea will be released later this week, multiple sources said Friday.

The U.S. citizens -- who have been held in the North on charges of espionage or "hostile acts" against the regime -- might be set free through the border village of Panmunjom on Saturday, they said.

"I am aware that North Korea and the United States have agreed to free the three Korean Americans -- Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul -- through Panmunjom tomorrow," said one source who asked not to be named.

Another source familiar with the issue said there is also possibility that the release could take place one or two days later.

The detainee issue is widely expected to be resolved ahead of a planned meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump hinted at the possibility of their release on Wednesday (local time), tweeting, "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. Stay tuned!"

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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