Pompeo's visit to North Korea comes with Trump preparing for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks, as a dramatic diplomatic thaw on the peninsula quickens. "President Trump appreciates leader Kim Jong Un's action to release these American citizens, and views this as a positive gesture of goodwill, the statement said".
But the fate of the Iran deal suggests Trump could also dismiss pleas from Seoul - a treaty ally - in future.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who attended the meeting along with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, said his nation would normalize ties with North Korea if the nuclear and missile issues, along with that of the abduction of Japanese citizens, were solved comprehensively.
"Maybe now that we're kind of close to the end ... the last few steps for him to be released seems to be going a lot slower than the first year, the whole year", said Sol Kim.
His trip comes just days after North Korea expressed displeasure with Washington for comments suggesting that massive US pressure had pushed Kim to the negotiating table.
Kim told Xi the denuclearization of the peninsula was North Korea's "constant and clear position", and that dialogue between North Korea and the United States could build mutual trust.
Kim restated Pyongyang's desire to abandon its nuclear program, "as long as relevant parties eliminate the hostile policy and security threats against North Korea", according to paraphrased remarks reported by Xinhua. The university is the only privately funded college in North Korea and was founded in 2010 with donations from Christian groups.
The other two detainees hadn't been tried.
Trump poured scorn on the "disastrous" 2015 accord, reached after a decade and a half of careful diplomacy by Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia and past USA administrations, describing it as an "embarrassment" to the United States.
The US president said he would travel to Andrews air force base just outside Washington to meet them. "You can trust us".
He noted that the North Koreans were disappointed that he did not come bearing a "breakthrough" from the U.S. government, but did not detail what offers the hosts were hoping for.
America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday, landing at the centre of a whirlwind of diplomacy ahead of a planned US-North Korea summit. Shortly after Kim Hak-song was detained, his wife said in an interview with CNN that her husband is an agricultural expert and was teaching rice-growing at the university, trying to help North Koreans feed themselves.
At the start of the 75-minute meeting, Abe said, "Japan, China and South Korea must cooperate with the worldwide community and strongly ask North Korea to take specific action" toward denuclearization, namely abandoning its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Kim's visit to the neighbouring country happened secretly and he used the deep green armoured train to make it to Beijing, rekindling the memory of his predecessors - grandfather Kim Il-Sung and father Kim Jong-Il - who used the train, which is slow-running because of its weight but has luxurious arrangements inside.
Li said the success of the inter-Korean summit and the Panmunjeom Declaration is a precious outcome not only for the Korean Peninsula but also for regional peace and stability, speaking highly of Moon and his government's efforts for making it possible.
Clapper told CBS that he carried a short letter from Obama identifying him as the presidential envoy but made it clear that his mission was recovering the two U.S. citizens.