China's foreign minister arrives in North Korea

Tourists dressed in traditional Korean costumes visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Donald Trump, who looks set to become the first sitting US President to meet a North Korean leader during a planned summit with Kim Jong Un, said last month his administration was fighting "very diligently to get the three Americans back".

Trump hinted at a potential development in their case Wednesday night Washington time in a tweet: "As everybody is aware, the past Administration has always been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. government said it is looking into reports that the three Americans had been relocated from a labor camp to a hotel near Pyongyang ahead of the Kim-Trump summit. Trump has said the U.S.is working hard to win the Americans' freedom.

Ri and Wang had an "in-depth and extensive discussion" on ways of improving bilateral ties and discussed mutual issues concerning the current situation of the Korean Peninsula, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing a report by South's Yonhap News Agency.

"The welfare and safety of US citizens overseas is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We are working to see USA citizens who are detained in North Korea come home as soon as possible", the spokesperson added.

"My father had just finished his semester as a professor in North Korea when he was arrested at the airport", said Kim's eldest son, Sol, in a YouTube video, posted several months ago.

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"We have been talking about them. Thank you for your continued prayers and efforts to help bring them home", he said.

And speaking to Fox News on Sunday, National Security Advisor John Bolton said releasing the hostages would be "an opportunity" for the North to "demonstrate their authenticity".

North Korea's state media reported Thursday that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held "candid" talks with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho a day earlier.

Sweden represents Washington's interests in the North.

Meanwhile, President Trump says he'll soon announce a location and date for his meeting with North Korea's dictator.

It also "urges the President, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, and regional leaders to engage diplomatically to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and exhaust all non-military policy tools before any use of military force".

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