Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Local | By Ada Griffith

Envoy contacted 3 others held in North Korea


The University of Virginia student was "brutalised and terrorised" by the North Korean regime, his father Fred Warmbier said at the news conference, two days after his son arrived in OH on a medical evacuation flight.

Warmbier's family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that Warmbier fell ill from botulism some time after his trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported.

The father of the University of Virginia student who was released from North Korea this week said USA basketball Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman's visit to Pyongyang had no connection to the freeing of Otto Warmbier.

Doctors said they also examined the rest of Warmbier's body and saw no evidence of fractures in his skull or elsewhere that might be evidence of severe beatings.

An American university student who was detained for 17 months in North Korea and suffered a serious neurological injury was "brutalized" while in custody, his father said on Thursday. "I think the results speak for themselves", he said. He said he would leave the medical details of his son's condition to the doctor's press conference (at 3pm this afternoon).

This rarely happens in modern western food production, but is what North Korea claims happened to Mr Warmbier.

"We examined all the long bones of the body, the ribs, pelvis and the skull", Dr. Kanter said.

"Earlier this year, Cindy and I decided the time for strategic patience is over", he added, using the same phrase as Vice President Mike Pence during his April visit to the Korean peninsula.

"Otto is not in great shape right now", Fred Warmbier, Otto's father, told Fox News in an interview Wednesday.

Kanter said Warmbier's vital signs were stable upon arrival.

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Warmbier, 22, was detained at Pyongyang International Airport in January 2016 and charged with stealing a poster from a North Korean hotel where he was staying as part of a Young Pioneers Tour. North Korea claimed it had released him on "humanitarian grounds", without providing specifics of the situation. A court sentenced Otto Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor after he allegedly stole a propaganda sign.

Warmbier emphasized in his opening statement a "bittersweet feeling" of having Otto home. It has been widely speculated that Warmbier's injuries were sustained from beatings from North Korean officials, however, the evidence thus far does not support that.

Fred Warmbier blasted North Korea for keeping his son's comatose condition a "secret" and denying him "top-notch" medical treatment for months.

Fred Warmbier got emotional as he revealed he was wearing the same jacket his son wore when he gave a televised confession and apology in North Korea in February 2016.

Mr Warmbier is in stable condition at the UC Medical Centre, where he was taken immediately after his arrival in OH on Tuesday after more than 17 months in North Korean captivity.

He said that he had spoken to President Trump last night, describing the call as gracious.

"I knelt down by his side and I hugged him", Warmbier answered.

"Even though they're saddened by his condition, they're just glad for the family that he is home", McCauley said.

Pyongyang has accused Washington and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its regime.

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