They've arrived in Alaska, before flying to Washington

Donald Trump is promising what he describes as "quite a scene" when three Americans detained in North Korea are welcomed home.

They were freed from prison after a meeting between the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the country's leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

They have arrived in Alaska, before flying to Washington to meet President Trump.

In a statement the men said: "We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary (of State) Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home.

"We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world."

A US government plane holding the three Americans detained in North Korea sits on the tarmac at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport waiting to be refueled Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 in Anchorage, Alaska | Image: Mark Thiessen/AP/Press Association Images

Mr Trump said he would meet the three released prisoners when they land in the US on Thursday morning.

He tweeted: "I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting.

"They seem to be in good health. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set."

The prisoners - Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim - were accused by North Korea of anti-state activities.

Kim Dong Chul, a South Korea-born pastor, was arrested in 2015 and accused of spying.

A year later, he was sentenced to 10 years' hard labour.

The two other men were working at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, founded by evangelical Christians from overseas, when they were arrested last year and accused of "hostile acts".