North Korea releases US citizen Otto Warmbier

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman

An American college student who was released from a North Korean prison is finally home but in a coma and undergoing treatment at an OH hospital. In March 2016, a North Korean kangaroo court, after a one hour show trial, concluded, according to the state-run North Korean Central News Agency, that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward [the North], in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

The US State Department, however, said the two events were unrelated. He was arrested in January 2016 and accused of trying to steal a propaganda poster from an employee area of his hotel.

The trip comes at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which has conducted missile tests and detained four American citizens who are still in custody.

Friends and well-wishers gathered outside Cincinnati's Lunken Airport Terminal ahead of the anticipated 10 p.m. arrival of the plane carrying Warmbier. But in a statement to The Associated Press, his parents disclosed that he has been in a coma since his sentencing.

Warmbier is expected to arrive at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center later later this evening.

We also learn that it is most unlikely that Dennis Rodman was a part of the discussions about Mr. Warmbier or the arrangements for his return.

Tillerson says the State Department secured Warmbier's release at President Donald Trump's direction. Approval of the North Korean side, shortly after the verdict, the student was diagnosed with botulism.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they continue to battle for Otto's life".

American Kenneth Bae credits Rodman's unconventional relationship with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un for helping pave the way for his November 2014 release from his own 15-year prison sentence there.

Mr Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy, have confirmed their son is in a coma and was being flown home to OH on a medevac flight. USA officials did not confirm those details. Resident Amy Mayer says news of his release has sent waves of shock and joy through the neighborhood.

North Korea announced Warmbier's arrest in late January 2016, saying he committed an anti-state crime with "the tacit connivance of the US government and under its manipulation".

But Nauert is firm in stating "Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with the release of Mr. Warmbier".

Warmbier's release Tuesday followed an extraordinary period of clandestine negotiations between USA and North Korean officials in Oslo, Norway, and NY.

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Rodman did not raise the issue of Bae's imprisonment with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un while in Pyongyang.

Tillerson indicated on Tuesday that Washington is looking for new ways to increase pressure on Pyongyang, telling senators that the White House is considering whether to impose "secondary sanctions" on third countries that do business with North Korea. Officials involved in negotiations to free Warmbier and another American citizen being detained were told they were being treated as prisoners of war.

Prince Marketing Group, which represents Rodman, did not comment on any PotCoin sponsorship in a statement regarding Rodman's trip to North Korea.

Yun then met last week with the North Korean ambassador at the U.N.in NY.

Yun arrived in Pyongyang early Monday with two US physicians. He was evacuated on Tuesday. Worldwide negotiations on the dispute over North Korea's nuclear program have been in limbo for years, as the USA cranks up economic sanctions and North Korea won't give up weapons it considers a guarantee against invasion. He was sentenced to 15 years with hard labor after an hour-long trial.

Otto Warmbier is an economics student from the University of Virginia, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.

A statement issued in NY by a Rodman publicist said the former National Basketball Association player is in the rare position of being friends with the leaders of both North Korea and the United States.

Thus, nothing more than a New Year's Eve college prank was elevated to phony charges that Warmbier had committed an act tantamount to trying to overthrow the government. Of Otto's parents, Cynthia and Fred Warmbier, he said: 'I can't even begin to put myself in their shoes'.

"Otto's detainment and sentence was unnecessary and appalling, and North Korea should be universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior", said Republican Sen. A team was dispatched to Pyongyang and the sick University of Virginia student was handed over to USA officials. "Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", they said.

The parents of Otto Warmbier, the USA student who is in a coma after being freed this week by North Korea, say he was "brutalised" by a "pariah regime". "We'll be relieved to have him home and are looking forward to surrounding him with people who love him".

Earlier Tuesday, the Washington Post spoke to Warmbier's parents about his condition.

Yun was instructed to prepare to travel to Pyongyang with the intention of bringing Warmbier back to the United States.

Yun was under orders, which the official said came directly from Trump, to demand to see Warmbier immediately and, "if he was in bad shape", to demand his immediate release. Since then, the United States continued to urge that North Korea allow Sweden further consular access to Warmbier, as well as three other American citizens known to be held by North Korea.

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