She added that the process involving the United States and North Korea has moved in the right direction.
The White House choreographed the arrival event at the air base, the image-conscious president telling reporters, "I think you probably broke the all-time-in-history television rating for 3 o'clock in the morning".
The remarks signaled how upbeat the Trump administration has become about the possibility that the Trump-Kim meeting will result in a secure commitment from the reclusive regime to give up its nuclear weapons program, even though Kim so far hasn't committed to anything that his father and predecessor didn't promise - and renege on - in the past.
In a tweet last week, Trump hinted at their impending release, saying that "the past Administration has always been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail". Still, they seemed happy.
Shortly after they touched down in Alaska, the State Department released a statement from the freed men. And, big bonus - Melania was there, too.
"It demonstrates how space data can complement a global seismic network for monitoring clandestine nuclear tests - and it provides information about the test site relevant for North and South Korea peace talks".
Speaking on the tarmac, Trump said: "These are great people".
A quick trip to Pyongyang was also seen as bad optics for Trump, US officials said.
And do we wonder why it happened?
Trump thanked the Korean leader for their release.
As 2017 draws to a close, Kim boasts his missile arsenal can hit any city on the United States mainland, warning in a New Year address that he has a "nuclear button" on his desk. Asia experts are skeptical.
In June 2008, global broadcasters were allowed to air the demolishing of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package. Many traits originating before the 1950s remained shared, but while much of the art and music in South Korea over the last 65 or so years would be considered global in nature, North Korea embraced a self-sufficient philosophy and produced most of its own.
Singapore and North Korea have a history - the first law firm and fast-food restaurant in Pyongyang were set up by Singaporeans - though relations snagged previous year when Singapore severed trade ties under new United Nations sanctions punishing Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programmes.
He said its policy was now "to concentrate all efforts into economic progress", but stressed that this had nothing to do with global sanctions imposed on the country. "This is not the result of sanctions that have been imposed from outside".
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has renewed his pledge to win release of Japanese abductees detained for decades in North Korea as he congratulated three Americans' return home. Then again, it's hard to release someone who hasn't been taken hostage yet. The other two were arrested after Trump's inauguration last spring amid rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Tourists from China account for about four-fifths of foreign visitors to North Korea, says South Korean think-tank the Korea Maritime Institute, which estimates tourism generates revenue of about $44 million each year for the country.