Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Tillerson: North Korea Releases US Citizen Otto Warmbier


And there's actually another American in North Korea: Dennis Rodman arrived on Tuesday for his fifth visit to Pyongyang.

Rodman's current trip is his first since Trump, his former "Celebrity Apprentice" boss, became president.

But on Tuesday, the already odd tale took some even stranger turns when it was reported that the Cincinnati native is on his way back to OH in a coma, one his parents have been told Warmbier has been in for almost his entire incarceration.

Warmbier's parents confirmed that he is in a coma on Tuesday.

At a press conference before his trial, a sobbing Warmbier said he had made "the worst mistake of my life" and pleaded to be released.

She tells reporters, "we are grateful and thankful" for Warmbier's release, but says it is "too soon" to talk about dialogue between the USA and North Korea.

Three other Americans are now being held in North Korea, a country that has a long history of detaining foreigners.

Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare. His family says he is in a coma.

"US detainees in North Korea, although a humanitarian concern, tend to be viewed by the United States government as a thorn in the diplomatic side", Aum said. At the meeting, North Korea agreed that Swedish diplomats could visit all four American detainees.

Following the May meeting in Oslo, North Korea urgently requested another meeting, which took place last week between the US envoy on North Korea, Joseph Yun, and the North's ambassador at the U.N.in NY.

Warmbier was visiting North Korea as part of a tourist group arranged by Young Pioneer Tours, a tour agency based in Xian, China.

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Warmbier has said he arrived in North Korea on December 29, 2015 and was arrested January 2 as he prepared to fly out of Pyongyang's global airport.

On March 16, two hours after U.S. envoy Bill Richardson met with two North Korean diplomats from the United Nations office to press for Warmbier's release, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Either way, more will likely be known about Warmbier's physical state once he's back on American soil Tuesday evening.

Now it appears that Mr. Warmbier may have been gravely ill for much or all of that time. Tillerson said the department would have no further comment on Warmbier and his condition, citing privacy concerns.

She said the university community has his family in its thoughts and prayers as he returns home. "But we have issued travel warnings to Americans and suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety".

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. Warmbier was sentenced in March 2016 after a one hour trial determined that he was guilty of theft. The information, however, came from the North Korean government and has not yet been verified. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country's "despicable actions. must be condemned".

The parents of the 22-year-old student told The Washington Post that he has been medically evacuated from the country in a coma.

Despite his pleas, the college student was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. "The brutalization and terrorism the North Koreans have put upon Otto and the Warmbier family have ended". Speaking in Tokyo, Shannon said "We wish him well".

Otto Frederick Warmbier (born 1994) is an American citizen who was imprisoned in North Korea after having been convicted and sentenced to 15 years' hard labor at the age of 21 for "hostile acts against the DPRK". He said Warmbier, of Cincinnati, was en route to the U.S.

More than one year after his arrest, Fred and Cindy Warmbier pleaded with President Donald Trump to negotiate their son's release.

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