North Korea releases US citizen Otto Warmbier

Jun 14, 2017, 05:32
North Korea releases US citizen Otto Warmbier

After staying silent for more than a year, Warmbier's parents recently began speaking out about their son's case, granting interviews to Fox News and the Washington Post. The 22-year-old contracted botulism and is in "bad shape", a source close to the family told CNN. However, it turns out he has not been doing hard labor for his "crime" but has been in a coma for most of the time since his sentence. He was freed Tuesday. He is on Medivac flight on his way home.

North Korean news media, announcing Warmbier's arrest in January 2016, said he visited the country with the intention of "bringing down the foundation of its single-minded unity".

However, Warmbier's family told The Washington Post that Warmbier was medically evacuated from the isolated nation because he was in a coma that is believed to be associated with him contracting botulism.

Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release. His parents say he's in a coma.

The United States has no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea.

This file photo taken on February 29, 2016 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 1, 2016 shows Otto Warmbier at a press conference in Pyongyang.

Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare.

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Despite Rodman's frequent trips, the US still warns Americans to avoid travel to North Korea. His family says he is in a coma.

The North still holds three other Americans. He was detained when as tour group prepared to leave North Korea, charged with engaging in allegedly anti-state activity.

The State Department repeatedly warns Americans not to visit North Korea, which has detained a host of Americans over the years on a variety of charges. Despite his pleas, the college student was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Update: Lunken Airport Manager confirms Otto Warmbier will arrive at Lunken around 10pm, he will then be transported to UC Medical Center.

Warmbier also said he had been encouraged by the university's "Z Society", which he said he was trying to join.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties".

At the time of his sentencing, North Korea's harsh treatment of Warmbier was thought to point toward increased political tensions between the US and Pyongyang.

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USA officials refused to comment on Warmbier's condition, but former ambassador and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said he had spoken with the family.

And Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country's "despicable actions ... must be condemned". "We learned of this only one week ago", said Fred and Cindy Warmbier in a statement.

He gave a televised confession a month later, in which he said he had tried to take the sign as a "trophy" for a USA church, adding "the aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people".

"At the direction of the President, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea".

The world hasn't heard from USA undergraduate student Otto Warmbier since his March 2016 sentencing in North Korea for 15 years of hard labor.

Warmbier's release comes at the request of President Donald Trump, who after being informed last week that Warmbier was in a coma, ordered that the USA work to bring Warmbier back stateside. May 2017 The special representative for North Korea policy at the U.S. State Department met high-level representatives from the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, Norway, the State Department said.

The State Department continues to "have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other Americans jailed there.

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The student's release comes the same day former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman visited Pyongyang for the first time in Donald Trump's presidency.

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