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Menendez on the Release of Americans Imprisoned by North Korea

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that three American prisoners were released from North Korea during a trip by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“The release of the three American’s being held hostage by Pyongyang is great news and I join their families in this moment of profound relief. I commend Secretary Pompeo, and look forward to discussing his trips to Pyongyang upon his return.

“But let’s be clear, these three Americans, two taken hostage in the last 15 months, never should have been arbitrarily imprisoned by North Korea.  This is, nevertheless, a very positive sign for the possibility of a diplomatic pathway to denuclearization, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.  Working with our allies, I sincerely hope the Trump administration robustly pursues this diplomatic path with the required discipline and strategy.

“Unfortunately, too many American families continue to suffer the anguish of family members being unjustly held hostage by repressive regimes across the world, including New Jersey's  Xiyue Wang. Today is an affirmation that we must do everything possible to use strong diplomacy to secure the release of these citizens. We owe them nothing less.”