Student released by North Korea arrives in Ohio

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

"We learned of this only one week ago", said Fred and Cindy Warmbier in a statement.

Officials could not immediately confirm United States media reports that Warmbier had fallen into a coma during his incarceration. "At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident".

More as we get it.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said Warmbier was released and left the country Tuesday morning.

That meeting followed an earlier, secret meeting last month between Yun and high-level North Korean officials in Oslo.

The U.S. government condemned the sentence and accused North Korea of using such American detainees as political pawns.

So while the State Department was critical in securing Warmbier's release, Kim likely had additional motivations.

The State Department is still investigating the North Korean version of events. At 15 cents on the dollar, it's still worth relatively nothing when compared to Bitcoin but a big bump over the 1 to 2 cents it was worth prior to Rodman's highly publicized North Korea visit.

Nearly immediately on taking office in January, Trump and his team - having been briefed by the outgoing president Barack Obama - declared the North's attempts to build, test and arm a nuclear-capable ballistic missile as Washington's biggest threat. It was the first time the United States was able to confirm his status since he was sentenced.

Rodman had nothing to do with the student's release, said the source familiar with the government's efforts to free Warmbier.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the State Department secured the 22-year-old's release at President Donald Trump's direction. US officials last had consular access to Warmbier on March 2, 2016, through the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, Nauert said.

It is the first time that the USA administration has confirmed the dispatch of a ranking official to North Korea since President Donald Trump took office in January. Otto grew up here and we know him as an intelligent, personable, and wonderful young man.

However, he said the issue of several Americans detained by North Korea is "not my objective right now", instead insisting he was "trying to open the door" to the isolated country through sports. He had reportedly stolen a propaganda sign from a hotel.

He was charged with "hostile acts against the state". The DPRK Supreme Court sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor last March after he tearfully confessed in a televised proceeding. It was the last time he was seen publicly.

Swedish diplomats, who represent USA interests in North Korea because the United States has no diplomatic relations with the country, had been denied access to him until late last month, following Yun's Oslo meeting. He's being medically evacuated back to his Cincinnati home.

The announcement comes as former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman is paying a return visit to North Korea.

(ENGLISH) "We continue our discussions with the North Korean regime regarding the release of the other three American citizens that have been detained".

Now to the release of Otto Warmbier from captivity in North Korea. 'It's overwhelming to learn that he's been in a coma for a year, ' Miller added.

"I have not spoken to Mr Rodman".

Other reports by VgToday

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