President Donald Trump flashes a thumbs up as he leaves the White House, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The three American detainees freed by North Korea say they would like to express their “deep appreciation” to the United States government, President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the American people “for bringing us home.”

They add, “We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return.”

The State Department released the statement as the former detainees returned to American soil.

Pompeo had been in North Korea to finalize details of a summit planned between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The three men boarded Pompeo’s plane on their own. They were transferred in Japan to another plane for the trip to Joint Base Andrews outside Washington. Trump plans to greet them when they land.

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