'The Most Incredible Thing': Nauert on Traveling to North Korea to Secure Release of US Prisoners
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert joined Dana Perino Thursday to discuss the release of three American prisoners by North Korea and her recent trip to North Korea.
Nauert traveled to Pyongyang with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other State Department officials to secure the release of Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim.
When the men arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland early Thursday, they were greeted by President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
"It was the most incredible thing as an American to see those men walk on our plane on the ground in Pyongyang," Nauert said.
"We had the opportunity to shake their hands. We looked them straight in the eye and they said to us verbatim, 'God bless America. We are so proud to be Americans.'"
The former Fox News anchor said it was a very emotional moment, and she is extremely proud to have been a small part of it.
Nauert added that it was not a certainty that they would be able to secure the prisoners' release.
"You're never certain exactly what you're going to get into when you're dealing with certain governments that you don't always have a friendly relationship with," she said.
She said the point of the trip was to set the table for Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which will take place June 12 in Singapore.
"It was a very important part of it to get the release of those Americans. We've been successful on all fronts, thank goodness."
She described an elaborate lunch hosted by North Korean officials, which was in stark contrast to the extreme poverty which North Koreans live under.
"Understanding the conditions many North Koreans live under, I felt guilty having all of that," she said, adding that the United States calls on Pyongyang to improve conditions for its citizens.
Nauert said Pompeo conveyed a message to Kim Jong Un that he has the opportunity to bring "economic change" and an open society to his country.