US student, freed from North Korea with neurological injury, was 'brutalized' -father

Carla Harmon
June 15, 2017

His arrival in North Korea Tuesday came just hours after Pyongyang chose to release Otto Warmbier, an American university student who had been imprisoned in the North for 17 months, most of which it turns out he spent in a coma.

Otto Warmbier, 22, returned to OH on Tuesday after being detained and imprisoned for 18 months in North Korea. He got 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal the propaganda banner.

The 22-year-old student's father, Fred Warmbier, said he does not believe North Korea's explanation that his son's coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

"They are a pariah regime", Fred Warmbier said at a news conference at Wyoming High School, where Otto graduated in 2013 as class salutatorian. Otto Warmbier is now in a coma after being held by the North Korean regime for more than 17 months.

The New York Times previously cited a senior USA official as saying Washington had received intelligence reports Warmbier was repeatedly beaten while held captive in North Korea.

Warmbier offered praise for the Trump administration for its work in bringing home his son.

"What did I say to my son?"

According to People, Fred also spoke to Carlson after his son's release, in an interview slated to be aired on Thursday evening.

He was being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, but details of his condition have not been released.

Warmbier responded: "The question is, do I think the past administration could have done more?"

In recent months, Warmbier said, he and his wife, Cindy, had made a decision to take a more public stance in calling for their son's release, after months of following advice that they should try not to antagonize or offend leaders in North Korea.

In its first official comment since Warmbier was returned home, North Korea said it released him over humanitarian reasons.

North Korea's Central Court said earlier Thursday that Warmbier was released from a labor camp "on humanitarian grounds" - but his father flatly dismissed the court's statement.

"North Korea is a Praia regime".

Such detentions in the totalitarian nation have added to tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman gives North Korean sports minister copy of President Donald Trump's book "The Art of the Deal".

The State Department is continuing to discuss three other detained Americans with North Korea.

"Joseph Yun went to Pyongyang to accompany Mr Warmbier home", Thomas Shannon, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told reporters in Seoul Wednesday.

Other reports by iNewsToday