Vice President Mike Pence stood on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews Air Force District of Washington when three Americans who were held hostage in North Korea for more than a year returned home.
The emotional moment was covered across media outlets as these three men joyously celebrated being in a free country and no longer under the oppressive rule of the North Korean dictatorship. The three men – Kim Hak-Song, also known as Jin Xue Song; Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang-Duk; and Kim Dong-Chul – threw their hands up cheerily and enthusiastically waved to those on the tarmac.
Pence recently shared the three men had written and handed him a short, but powerful note. In the note, the three men compared themselves to Jewish captives returning to their promised land of Jerusalem after previously being in captivity.
Here’s what it said:
When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion,
We were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Check it out:
It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget… when 3 Americans stepped onto the tarmac at @JBA_NAFW & gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back. “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion…” To these men of faith & courage – God bless you & welcome home! pic.twitter.com/vQhdllUADy
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 10, 2018
Some people who saw the hand-written note called it “powerful” and “amazing,” check it out:
I am crying. Tears 😭 of joy! God is so good.
— Vanita Dulin (@missVPfld) May 10, 2018
God Bless America
— talyahxoxo (@talyahxoxo1) May 10, 2018
That is beautiful! Welcome home and God Bless
— Colleen Anderson (@Colleen51166049) May 10, 2018
Psalm 126…Thank you @VP
— Keith for the Right (@1niceguy1104) May 10, 2018
Amazing !! Thank you Mr President
— christine (@christi31417672) May 10, 2018
Is that what he gave you?! Sooo cool!
— It’s Me! It’s Me! (@ILoveRomena) May 10, 2018
So happy for them great bible verse
— gale (@DutraGale) May 10, 2018
Wow! Praise be to God!!!🙏👌👌👌
— Jez18 (@mbayajm) May 10, 2018
Vice President Pence this is so powerful. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for serving our country. Thank you for fighting for your fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
— Jamie Norwood (@Sunshinegrll) May 11, 2018
USA Today has more on the three Americans held hostage in North Korea:
The three men — Kim Hak-Song, also known as Jin Xue Song; Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang-Duk; and Kim Dong-Chul — were arrested on a variety of supposed anti-state crimes, despite the fact that they appear to have journeyed to the diplomatically isolated nation to improve conditions for its 25 million citizens:
They all faced the same fate: years behind bars.
• Kim Dong-Chul of Fairfax, Va., was arrested in October 2015 and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016 on charges of spying and other offenses.
A month before his trial, he supposedly apologized for trying to steal military secrets for South Koreans. He had been living in Rason, North Korea, in a special economic zone where he ran a trading and hotel services company.
• Tony Kim was detained at the Pyongyang airport in April 2017 as he was set to depart the country. He subsequently was accused of “hostile acts.”
Kim had spent a month teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and most recently had been living in North Korea with his wife, still believed to be there. He supposedly had been volunteering at an orphanage. The university is funded largely by evangelical Christians from the United States and China.
• Kim Hak-Song was accused of “hostile acts” in May 2017. He had been doing agricultural development work at the research farm of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and was living in Pyongyang.