Going Further Into Debt To Support Terrorism

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about some of the recent discussions happening in Congress. The article notes the Senator Ted Cruz has criticized Senator Diane Feinstein because she is trying to appropriate money to send to Iran (the world’s major fund source for terrorism).

The article reports:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz unloaded on his Democratic colleagues on Friday in response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein sending a letter to President Trump declaring that she is “disappointed” in his administration’s plan to block funding to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran. The Democrats’ demand of Trump to help Iran get $5 billion in aid, Cruz noted, comes “at the exact same time” that they are “blocking desperately need relief to small businesses in America.”

The article continues:

In late March, a group of Democratic lawmakers — among them Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin calling for the easing of U.S. sanctions on Iran during the coronavirus pandemic, a request that was dead on arrival. Iran has since requested $5 billion in aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In response to the Trump administration indicating that they have no intention of allowing the terror-sponsoring state to get the massive infusion of money, Sen. Feinstein sent her own letter on Thursday expressing her disappointment.

The timing of the letter was unfortunate for Senator Feinstein:

Feinstein’s letter was issued the same day that Senate Democrats blocked an urgent request from Sec. Mnuchin to increase the amount of cash in the emergency small business loan program recently established by Congress from $350 billion to $600 billion.

In response to the pair of moves, Cruz called out Feinstein and the Democrats for what he suggested were some backward “priorities.”

When Secretary Mnuchin asked for more money to help small business, the  Democrats in Congress acted the same way they have in the past:

As the New York Post’s editorial board explains, instead of agreeing to the desperately needed increase in cash on Thursday, the Democrats “issued partisan demands”: “They insisted the new money include $60 billion for ‘community-based lenders’ that serve minorities, women, nonprofits and other groups. And the bill also had to OK an immediate $250 billion for cities, states, hospitals, food stamps and other needs.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained in response that “everything is an opportunity.” This was an “opportunity” to address “disparities” she suggested are plaguing the country.

“And if they don’t get their way, no one gets a dime more,” the Post’s editorial board noted. “Never mind that businesses face bankruptcy or that 17 million people filed for jobless benefits in recent weeks.”

We don’t need term limits–we need intelligent voters who remember these antics when they vote in November.

Has Anyone Been Paying Attention To This?

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today quoting some recent remarks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The article includes a video of the remarks, but below is the transcript of the important points:

[Transcript at 01:45] […] “Last year, I received an invitation to an event that promised to be, quote, “an occasion for exclusive deal-making.” It said, quote, “the opportunities for mutually beneficial economic development between China and our individual states [are] tremendous,” end of quote.”

“Deal-making sounds like it might have come from President Trump, but the invitation was actually from a former governor.

I was being invited to the U.S.-China Governors’ Collaboration Summit.

It was an event co-hosted by the National Governors Association and something called the Chinese People’s Association For Friendship and Foreign Countries. Sounds pretty harmless.

What the invitation did not say is that the group – the group I just mentioned – is the public face of the Chinese Communist Party’s official foreign influence agency, the United Front Work Department.

Now, I was lucky. I was familiar with that organization from my time as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

But it got me thinking.

How many of you made the link between that group and Chinese Communist Party officials?

What if you made a new friend while you were at that event?

What if your new friend asked you for introductions to other politically connected and powerful people?

What if your new friend offered to invest big money in your state, perhaps in your pension, in industries sensitive to our national security?

These aren’t hypotheticals. These scenarios are all too true, and they impact American foreign policy significantly.

Indeed, last year, a Chinese Government-backed think tank in Beijing produced a report that assessed all 50 of America’s governors on their attitudes towards China. They labeled each of you “friendly,” “hardline,” or “ambiguous.”

I’ll let you decide where you think you belong. Someone in China already has. Many of you, indeed, in that report are referenced by name.

So here’s the lesson: The lesson is that competition with China is not just a federal issue. It’s why I wanted to be here today, Governor Hogan. It’s happening in your states with consequences for our foreign policy, for the citizens that reside in your states, and indeed, for each of you.

And, in fact, whether you are viewed by the CCP as friendly or hardline, know that it’s working you, know that it’s working the team around you.

Competition with China is happening inside of your state, and it affects our capacity to perform America’s vital national security functions.” (Keep Reading)

The author of the article notes that he believes that President Trump and Secretary Pompeo have a list of the governors that are being influenced by China. That list may come in handy in the coming days of balancing the response to the coronavirus.

Lies That Went Unanswered

The Republicans were relatively successful in knocking down some of the lies told during the impeachment hearings, but they missed a few. At one point Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, under oath, asserted all the factual elements in John Solomon’s columns at The Hill about Ukraine were false, except maybe the grammar. John Solomon posted an article at his website yesterday disputing that assertion.

The article lists the following facts:

Fact 1: Hunter Biden was hired in May 2014 by Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, at a time when his father Joe Biden was Vice President and overseeing US-Ukraine Policy. Here is the announcement. Hunter Biden’s hiring came just a few short weeks after Joe Biden urged Ukraine to expand natural gas production and use Americans to help. You can read his comments to the Ukrainian prime minister here. Hunter Biden’s firm then began receiving monthly payments totaling $166,666. You can see those payments here.

Fact 2: Burisma was under investigation by British authorities for corruption and soon came under investigation by Ukrainian authorities led by Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Fact 3: Vice President Joe Biden and his office were alerted by a December 2015 New York Times article that Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma and that Hunter Biden’s role at the company was undercutting his father’s anticorruption efforts in Ukraine.

Fact 4: The Biden-Burisma issue created the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially for State Department officials. I especially refer you to State official George Kent’s testimony here. He testified he viewed Burisma as corrupt and the Bidens as creating the perception of a conflict of interest. His concerns both caused him to contact the vice president’s office and to block a project that State’s USAID agency was planning with Burisma in 2016. In addition, Ambassador Yovanovitch testified she, too, saw the Bidens-Burisma connection as creating the appearance of a conflict of interest. You can read her testimony here.

Fact 5: The Obama White House invited Shokin’s prosecutorial team to Washington for meetings in January 2016 to discuss their anticorruption investigations. You can read about that here. Also, here is the official agenda for that meeting in Ukraine and English. I call your attention to the NSC organizer of the meeting.

Fact 6: The Ukraine investigation of Hunter Biden’s employer, Burisma Holdings, escalated in February 2016 when Shokin’s office raided the home of company owner Mykola Zlochevsky and seized his property. Here is the announcement of that court-approved raid.

Fact 7: Shokin was making plans in February 2016 to interview Hunter Biden as part of his investigation. You can read his interview with me here, his sworn deposition to a court here and his interview with ABC News here.

Fact 8: Burisma’s American representatives lobbied the State Department in late February 2016 to help end the corruption allegations against the company, and specifically invoked Hunter Biden’s name as a reason to intervene. You can read State officials’ account of that effort here

Fact 9: Joe Biden boasted in a 2018 videotape that he forced Ukraine’s president to fire Shokin in March 2016 by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid. You can view his videotape here.

Fact 10: Shokin stated in interviews with me and ABC News that he was told he was fired because Joe Biden was unhappy the Burisma investigation wasn’t shut down. He made that claim anew in this sworn deposition prepared for a court in Europe. You can read that here.

Fact 11:  The day Shokin’s firing was announced in March 2016, Burisma’s legal representatives sought an immediate meeting with his temporary replacement to address the ongoing investigation. You can read the text of their emails here.

Fact 12: Burisma’s legal representatives secured that meeting April 6, 2016 and told Ukrainian prosecutors that “false information” had been spread to justify Shokin’s firing, according to a Ukrainian government memo about the meeting. The representatives also offered to arrange for the remaining Ukrainian prosecutors to meet with U.S  State and Justice officials. You can read the Ukrainian prosecutors’ summary memo of the meeting here and here and the Burisma lawyers’ invite to Washington here.

Fact 13: Burisma officials eventually settled the Ukraine investigations in late 2016 and early 2017, paying a multimillion dollar fine for tax issues. You can read their lawyer’s February 2017 announcement of the end of the investigations here.

Fact 14: In March 2019, Ukraine authorities reopened an investigation against Burisma and Zlochevsky based on new evidence of money laundering. You can read NABU’s February 2019 recommendation to re-open the case here, the March 2019 notice of suspicion by Ukraine prosecutors here and a May 2019 interview here with a Ukrainian senior law enforcement official stating the investigation was ongoing. And here is an announcement this week that the Zlochevsky/Burisma probe has been expanded to include allegations of theft of Ukrainian state funds.  

Fact 15: The Ukraine embassy in Washington issued a statement in April 2019 admitting that a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa solicited Ukrainian officials in spring 2016 for dirt on Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in hopes of staging a congressional hearing close to the 2016 election that would damage Trump’s election chances. You can read the embassy’s statement here and here. Your colleague, Dr. Fiona Hill, confirmed this episode, testifying “Ukraine bet on the wrong horse. They bet on Hillary Clinton winning.” You can read her testimony here.

Fact 16: Chalupa sent an email to top DNC officials in May 2016 acknowledging she was working on the Manafort issue. You can read the email here.

Fact 17: Ukraine’s ambassador to Washington, Valeriy Chaly, wrote an OpEd in The Hill in August 2016 slamming GOP nominee Donald Trump for his policies on Russia despite a Geneva Convention requirement that ambassadors not become embroiled in the internal affairs or elections of their host countries. You can read Ambassador Chaly’s OpEd here and the Geneva Convention rules of conduct for foreign diplomats here. And your colleagues Ambassador Yovanovitch and Dr. Hill both confirmed this, with Dr. Hill testifying this week that Chaly’s OpEd was “probably not the most advisable thing to do.”

Fact 18: A Ukrainian district court ruled in December 2018 that the summer 2016 release of information by Ukrainian Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko and NABU director Artem Sytnyk about an ongoing investigation of Manafort amounted to an improper interference by Ukraine’s government in the 2016 U.S. election.  You can read the court ruling here. Leschenko and Sytnyk deny the allegations, and have won an appeal to suspend that ruling on a jurisdictional technicality.

Fact 19: George Soros’ Open Society Foundation issued a memo in February 2016 on its strategy for Ukraine, identifying the nonprofit Anti-Corruption Action Centre as the lead for its efforts. You can read the memo here.

Fact 20: The State Department and Soros’ foundation jointly funded the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. You can read about that funding here from the Centre’s own funding records and George Kent’s testimony about it here.

Fact 21: In April 2016, US embassy charge d’affaires George Kent sent a letter to the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office demanding that Ukrainian prosecutors stand down a series of investigations into how Ukrainian nonprofits spent U.S. aid dollars, including the Anti-Corruption Actions Centre. You can read that letter here. Kent testified he signed the letter here.

Fact 22: Then-Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said in a televised interview with me that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during a 2016 meeting provided the lists of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups she did want to see prosecuted. You can see I accurately quoted him by watching the video here.

Fact 23: Ambassador Yovanovitch and her embassy denied Lutsenko’s claim, calling it a “fabrication.” I reported their reaction here.

Fact 24: Despite the differing accounts of what happened at the Lutsenko-Yovanovitch meeting, a senior U.S. official in an interview arranged by the State Department stated to me in spring 2019 that US officials did pressure Lutsenko’s office on several occasions not to “prosecute, investigate or harass” certain Ukrainian activists, including Parliamentary member Leschenko, journalist Vitali Shabunin, the Anti-Corruption Action Centre and NABU director Sytnyk. You can read that official’s comments here. In addition, George Kent confirmed this same information in his deposition here.

Fact 25: In May 2018, then-House Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions sent an official congressional letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking that Yovanovitch be recalled as ambassador to Ukraine. Sessions and State confirmed the official letter, which you can read here.

Fact 26: In fall 2018, Ukrainian prosecutors, using a third party, hired an American lawyer (a former U.S. attorney) to proffer information to the U.S. government about certain activities at the U.S. embassy, involving Burisma and involving the 2016 election, that they believed might have violated U.S. law. You can read their account here. You can also confirm it independently by talking to the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan or the American lawyer representing the Ukrainian prosecutors’ interests.

Fact 27: In May 2016, one of George Soros’ top aides secured a meeting with the top Eurasia policy official in the State Department to discuss Russian bond issues. You can read the State memos on that meeting here.

Fact 28: In June 2016, Soros himself secured a telephonic meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to discuss Ukraine policy. You can read the State memos on that meeting here.

In the article John Solomon asks Lt. Col. Vindman to provide any information that contradicts these facts. If Lt. Col. Vindman is not able to do that, he needs to correct his testimony.

Hoisted On Their Own Petard

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about some recent documents requested by Congress and handed over by the State Department.

The article reports:

The House Congressional Democrats wrote the State Department last week to request testimony from career officials on Ukraine and to demand the Trump State Department turn over requested documents on Ukraine.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced he would refuse to allow State Department officials to testify before the Congressional committees on impeachment.

This was after Democrats in the House violated fundamental principles, contacted State Department officials directly and told them NOT to contact legal counsel.

 Democrat lawmakers also requested documents from the Pompeo State Department on Ukraine.

Today the State Department sent over the documents and announced they would brief Congress on their findings.
But the documents weren’t what the Democrats were expecting!

The Trump administration sent over documents on Hillary Clinton’s collusion with Ukraine in the 2016 election and the Biden Family’s massive pay-for-play with the Ukrainian regime!

Zing!

Those who are involved in a search for the truth are learning how to play the game.

The Truth May Be Slightly Different Than What You Have Heard

The Gateway Pundit today posted an article about some recent comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Some of Secretary Pompeo’s recent comments have been totally misrepresented in the press.

The article reports:

Pompeo told reporters how Democrats in the House violated fundamental principles, contacted State Department officials directly and told them NOT to contact legal counsel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Back to first principles. The predicate of your final question about objecting to what the folks on Capitol Hill have asked. It’s fundamentally not true. What we objected to was the demands that were put that deeply violate the fundamental principle of separation of powers. They contacted State Department employees directly. They told them NOT to contact legal counsel at the State Department. That’s been reported to us. They said the the State Department wouldn’t be able to be present. There are important constitutional prerogatives that the executive branch has to be present so that we can protect the important information so our partners, countries like Italy, can have confidence that the information they provide can have with the State Department will continue to be protected. So the response that I provided them was one that could acknowledge that we will of course do our constitutional duty to cooperate with this co-equal branch but we are going to do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental values of the American system. And we won’t tolerate folks on Capital Hill bullying, intimidating State Department employees.

What kind of kangaroo court were the Democrats planning? The ‘don’t contact legal counsel’ approach was used on General Flynn, and that didn’t work out too well for him. What we have here is Democrats in the House violating constitutional rights of American citizens. I guess the Democrats have failed to get enough spies into the inner circle of Mike Pompeo and now feel the need to find another way to spy on him. This is ridiculous.

Can I Help You Pack?

Yesterday Fox News reported the following:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that his country’s delegation would vote for the United Nations headquarters to be moved out of New York if given the chance, in the latest sign of escalating tensions with the United States on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

“If we’re ever asked, we will, of course, vote for it, for the United Nations headquarters to be transferred to a more secure and better country that does not have the narrow viewpoints that we have been witnessing,” he said in response to a question at a press conference. There appears to be no significant movement to move the U.N.

This is probably the first and last time I will agree with President Rouhani.

The article continues:

He mentioned a number of instances of Iranians being barred from entering the U.S. The Trump administration this week restricted senior Iranian government officials and their family members from entering the U.S.

“For years, Iranian officials and their family members have quietly taken advantage of America’s freedom and prosperity, including excellent educational, employment, entertainment, and cultural opportunities in the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Thursday.

“Under this proclamation, designated senior regime officials and their families will no longer be allowed entry into the United States. No longer will elites reap the benefits of a free society while the Iranian people suffer under the regime’s corruption and mismanagement.”

Rouhani accused the U.S. of capitalizing on its position as host nation for the U.N.

“This is the house of peace and house of communications with one another and America must not take advantage of its position as a host and only grant visas to whom America likes,” he said.

Rouhani spoke at a lengthy press conference in which he blamed the U.S. for the collapse of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and called on the U.S. to remove sanctions before talks can occur between the two countries. President Trump had opened the door to talks with the Iranian regime, but has also kept up his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Tehran.

“If these preconditions are taken off the table and then of course the possibility exists to talk with America,” Rouhani said.

Would the UN just leave if all the delegates were asked to pay their parking tickets?

Some Interesting Legal Aspects Of The Isis Bride Who Wants To Come To America

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review yesterday about Hoda Muthana, currently detained in a refugee camp in Syria, who wants to come home to America.

The article reports:

Now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that Muthana will not be allowed to reenter the U.S. because she is not an American citizen: While born in America, she was the daughter of a diplomat and thus not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. As the secretary put it in his statement, “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”

This conclusion is disputed by Muthana’s family and allies, and they may have a case. I would strongly urge the Justice Department to file an indictment against Muthana for treason, material support to terrorism, and any other readily provable offenses. She is less likely to press the issues of citizenship and right to enter if she understands that she faces prosecution and, very likely, lengthy imprisonment if she succeeds in coming here.

But it’s worth taking a closer look at the citizenship question itself. To my mind, the concept of citizenship implies not just the benefits of being a full-fledged member of the body politic, but also a duty of fealty to the nation. In a rational world, then, a citizen who made war against the United States would be stripped of citizenship.

Ms. Muthana left America to join ISIS, a group that was (and is) at war with America. If she claims to be a citizen, she should be charged with treason.

The article concludes:

Again: If the president and the secretary do not want Muthana to try to come back to the United States, the best strategy is to have the Justice Department indict her on serious felony charges. She may seek another alternative if she knows the risk of coming back here is decades of imprisonment. Of course, Muthana may decide to come anyway. After all, (a) she might see life in an American prison as better than her other alternatives, and (b) if she is an American citizen, there is a good argument that her young son is a citizen, too — he’d have a more promising chance of survival and a decent life here than in Syria (or wherever else in that godforsaken region they could end up).

In any event, the State Department has made its decision. Now it is up to Muthana’s supporters to establish her citizenship if they can, and for the Trump administration to indict her if it chooses.

This Is Not Good News For The Middle East

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that the U. S. has confirmed that Iran has successfully fired a nuclear-capable missile. Great.

The article reports:

Senior U.S. officials confirmed early Monday that Iran has successfully test-fired multiple nuclear-capable missiles in violation of United Nations restrictions on such activity, drawing a fierce reaction from the Trump administration, which will pressure European leaders this week to take immediate action aimed at countering Iran’s latest military moves.

Refuting Iranian claims that its illicit missile tests are defensive in nature, Trump administration Iran envoy Brian Hook vowed tough reprisals for Iran’s most recent missile tests, which are among the most provocative in recent memory.

“Iran has launched missiles that are capable of carrying multiple warheads, including a nuclear weapon,” Hook confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon while talking to reporters aboard Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s airplane en route to Brussels for NATO meetings.

The Iranian ballistic missile test comes on the heels of new evidence unearthed by the United States tying Tehran to the proliferation of advanced weaponry and missiles across the Middle East, including in Yemen, where Iranian-backed rebels continue to attack a Saudi coalition seeking to stem the violence.

The article concludes:

The administration is hoping to convince European allies to move forward with new sanctions as reprisal for the missile tests, a position many of these allies are hesitant to adopt. As Washington, D.C., moves forward with a bevy of new sanctions on Iran, some European allies have continued to balk the U.S. administration, seeking avenues to preserve the nuclear pact and ensure economic ties with Tehran remain open.

“We would like to see the European Union move sanctions that target Iran’s missile program,” Hook told reporters.

“Just a few days ago, we unveiled new evidence of Iran’s missile proliferation,” Hook explained. “Three days later, they test launched another medium range ballistic missile”.

“We have been warning the world for some time that we are accumulating risk of a regional conflict if we do not deter Iran’s missile testing and proliferation,” he said. “Iran is on the wrong track and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is designed to starve the regime of the revenue it needs to test missiles and proliferate missiles, support terrorism, conduct cyber attacks, [and] conduct acts of maritime aggression.”

What the Trump administration is not considering here is that Europe is economically dependent on trade with Iran. Until European leaders see Iranian missiles actually heading in their direction, they will not be willing to put any sort of sanctions on Iran. It needs to be done, but our European allies (?) are not willing to pay the necessary price.

Common Sense Is Slowing Arriving In America Regarding The United Nations

Yesterday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the United States will be withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Some of the current members of the Human Rights Council are Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. The Human Rights Council does not have a history or actually protecting human rights.

The following is from Wikipedia, but still is noteworthy:

Since its creation in 2006—the Council had resolved almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined. The 45 resolutions comprised almost half (45.9%) of all country-specific resolutions passed by the Council, not counting those under Agenda Item 10 (countries requiring technical assistance).[1] From 1967 to 1989 the UN Security Council adopted 131 resolutions directly addressing the Arab–Israeli conflict. In early Security Council practice, resolutions did not directly invoke Chapter VII. They made an explicit determination of a threat, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, and ordered an action in accordance with Article 39 or 40. Resolution 54 determined that a threat to peace existed within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter, reiterated the need for a truce, and ordered a cease-fire pursuant to Article 40 of the Charter. Although the phrase “Acting under Chapter VII” was never mentioned as the basis for the action taken, the chapter’s authority was being used.

One thing to consider when looking at how the United Nations began and where it is now is the creation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1969. In 2011, this group was renamed the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation. The original charter of the organization emphasized the goal of “revitalizing Islam’s pioneering role in the world.” The group consists of 57 members, including Sunni and Shia states. Its membership is not limited to Arab states. This group has become a major power bloc in the United Nations and bears much of the responsibility for the anti-democratic turn the United Nations has taken. The United Nations no longer supports freedom–it has become a place where dictators can parade as great leaders while their people are starving or imprisoned.

Leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council is the right thing to do. The next step is to leave the United Nations entirely.

The Best News Of The Day

CNBC (and most of the rest of the internet) are reporting today that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headed home with three Americans recently released from North Korean prisons.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that three American prisoners released from North Korea were headed home, a sign of potential good will ahead of Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In a tweet, Trump said “the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting” were accompanying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his way back from a visit to North Korea.

…Trump said Wednesday that the released prisoners “seem to be in good health.”

Tony Kim, an accounting professor who had been working at a university in Pyongyang, was detained in April 2017. Kimg Hak-Song, who also worked at the university, was detailed in May 2017 for “hostile acts” against North Korea, while Kim Dong-Chul was sentenced in April 2016 to 10 years in prison with hard labor for charges of espionage and subversion.

South Korea hailed the release of the three U.S. prisoners as a development that would have a “positive effect” on the upcoming summit between Kim and Trump – and also called for the release of six South Korean prisoners to “reinforce reconciliation” efforts.

This is wonderful news.