U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed three Americans who had been held prisoner in North Korea back home early on Thursday, thanking its leader Kim Jong Un for their release and sounding upbeat about a planned bilateral summit.
The former prisoners, freed after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang for a second meeting with Kim in less than six weeks, landed at around 2.40 a.m. ET (0640 GMT) at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.
Trump and First Lady Melania boarded the plane for about five minutes before the three men stepped out, shaking hands with the president and waving to waiting media and military personnel.
"Frankly we didn't think it was going to happen and it did," Trump said after thanking Kim for releasing the men.
"We're starting off on a new footing. This is a wonderful thing that he released the folks early."