North Korea releases U.S. citizen Otto Warmbier

Ross Houston
June 20, 2017

The State Department denied any connection between Warmbier's release and Rodman's visit, which President Donald Trump's administration said it did not authorise.

The parents of the 22-year old American college student freed by North Korea say he is in a coma and is on a Medivac flight on his way home.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they continue to battle for Otto's life". "We'll be relieved to have him home and are looking forward to surrounding him with people who love him". Earlier this year, as we discussed in this space, there were fears that Trump was participating in a unsafe escalation of tensions in the region.

He was met by North Korean Vice Minister of Sports Son Kwang Ho at the airport, saying then, "I'm just here to see some friends and have a good time".

Mr. Warmbier traveled to North Korea for a five-day tourist trip, despite State Department warnings and the North's long record of taking Americans hostage.

They plan to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at Wyoming High School.

He had not been seen in public since, and Swedish diplomats, representing USA interests, had been denied consular access to him.

PotCoin, which hopes to become the Bitcoin of the marijuana industry, is sponsoring the former National Basketball Association player's trip to North Korea to meet with the leader of the reclusive state, Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that it has approved three more requests by local civic groups to contact North Koreans, raising the total to 21.

"In no uncertain terms North Korea must explain the causes of his coma", Richardson, whose Center for Global Engagement had directly sought Warmbier's release with the North Korean government, said in a statement.

Secretary of State Tillerson said the State Department is continuing to discuss three other detained Americans with North Korea.

In a statement from Cindy and Fred Warmbier, to CNN, Otto's parents confirmed his condition and the timeline of how they were notified before condemning how their family "have been brutalized and terrorized" by the ordeal. His family says he is in a coma.

"Otto's detainment and sentence was unnecessary and appalling, and North Korea should be universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior", said Republican Sen.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo). A pair hugs and cries outside the plane carrying Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016, before he is transferred from a transport aircraft to. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail after tearfully confessing to trying to steal a propaganda sign.

While the release of the USA citizen might send a signal about eased tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, the DPRK Monday also expressed nostalgia for a period of relaxed relations with South Korea from 2000 to 2007, by marking the signing of the historic 2000 North-South Joint Declaration on inter-Korean relations.

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.

North Korea's first private university, PUST was founded and remains operated by actors outside the country, mostly Evangelical Christian organizations. The North Koreans "were informed that the airplane would land, American and medical officials would get out".

While traveling in Tokyo, Thomas Shannon Jr., the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, said Rodman was not acting in any official capacity.

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