The family of freed American prisoner Tony Kim thanked President Trump for “engaging directly with North Korea.” The statement was released as Kim and two other former prisoners flew home with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.
All three were arrested on vague charges of subversion and treated abominably by North Korea during their captivity. The White House said on Wednesday that all “appear to be in good condition” after their ordeal and were able to board the plane home without requiring assistance. All three share the common surname “Kim” but are not related. All three have Christian religious affiliations.
The statement from Tony Kim’s family reads:
We are very grateful for the release of our husband and father, Tony Kim, and the other two American detainees. We want to thank all of those who have worked toward and contributed to his return home. We also want to thank the President for engaging directly with North Korea. Mostly, we thank God for Tony’s safe return.
We appreciate all of the support and prayers of friends and even strangers during this challenging year. You are dear to our hearts. We ask that you continue to pray for the people of North Korea and for the release of all who are still being held. Thank you.
Tony Kim was arrested at the Pyongyang airport on April 22, 2017, while seeking to depart after a month of teaching accounting at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, the extraordinary private school founded by Christian groups and tolerated, but frequently hassled, by the communist regime. South Korean media also reported at the time that he helped to build orphanages in North Korea during his stay.
The North Korean regime claimed Kim was engaged in “hostile criminal acts with an aim to subvert the country.”