Parents don't buy North Korea's excuse for son's coma

Cheryl Sanders
June 27, 2017

On Tuesday, nearly 17 months after he was first arrested, 22-year-old American student Otto Warmbier - who has reportedly been in a coma for more than a year, according to his parents - was released from a North Korean prison and reunited with his family in Ohio.

North Korea said the 22-year-old's medical condition was caused by botulism and a sleeping pill he was given after his trial in 2016.

"We don't believe anything they (the North Koreans) say", his father said.

At the Otto Warmbier press conference given by his father, Fred, it was revealed that the Warmbiers don't believe North Korea's explanation of how their son ended up in a coma.

Fred Warmbier's claims come as USA doctors say 22-year-old Otto Warmbier has extensive brain trauma. He was arrested for trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean media. Fred Warmbier added that it was a "relief that Otto is now home in the arms of those who love him and anger that he was so brutally treated for so long".

Asked whether he thought the previous administration could have done more, Warmbier replied: "I think the results speak for themselves".

With the emplacement of the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea and increased pressure from the Chinese (at the behest of President Trump), North Korea is feeling the pressure. They said his prognosis remains confidential.

"The North Koreans have a lot of explaining to do - they may have violated the Geneva Convention", Richardson told TIME.

They kept quiet "on the false premise that (North Korea) would treat Otto fairly and let him go", he said. "He's now home with his family, and I am so tremendously proud of Otto".

Dr. Daniel Kanter is a member of Warmbier's medical team, and he said the most important test was an MRI of Warmbier's brain.

The University of Virginia student's parents were told he has been in a coma for about a year, and that he had contracted botulism, which causes paralysis. Richardson credited the State Department with the successful return of Warmbier, but said a response by the US government will be required if it is found there was a cover-up relating to Otto's condition and if he had not received proper medical treatment.

Yun met in May with North Korean representatives in Norway, and the North Koreans agreed that Swedish representatives would be allowed to visit Otto Warmbier and three other U.S. detainees, a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity this week.

"Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea", the father said in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, scheduled to air Thursday night.

Other reports by iNewsToday