Student released by North Korea now at hospital

Aaron Brown
June 18, 2017

Fred Warmbier told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Wednesday from his OH home that his son, Otto, "is not in great shape right now".

Otto Warmbier, 23, a student at the University of Virginia, was arrested for stealing a propaganda poster as a tourist in North Korea in January last year and sentenced to 15 years' hard labour after a tearful confession.

But amid the relief, there are also new questions about what happened to him: How did a healthy 22-year-old man fall into such a deep coma?

He was met by North Korean Vice Minister of Sports Son Kwang Ho. It is unclear what the status of the other three American citizens held in North Korea is, but this process jump-started the expedited release of Warmbier. They said they were told their son has been in a coma since his trial - when he was last seen in public - and they had learned of this only one week ago.

"Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", the parents said in a statement.

The University of Virginia student, a native of Cincinnati, had attempted to steal a propaganda banner while he was in North Korea for a five-day visit.

In the past, North Korea has held out until senior US officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 for subversion. Swedish diplomats, representing USA interests, were denied consular access to him.

James Leigh, a Canadian visitor to North Korea, told Radio Free Asia he was in the same detention room as Tony Kim, aka Kim Sang Duk, who was detained April 22.

The State Department denied any connection between Warmbier's release and Rodman's visit, which the Trump administration said it did not authorise. There they told Yun about Warmbier's condition.

Former Trump Aide Calls Senator Kamala Harris "Hysterical" for Doing Her Job
Kamala Harris (D-CA) was interrupted mid-question at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Wyden (D-Oregon) also had a contentious moment with Sessions during his line of questioning.

Greece to get $9.5 billion bailout payment
It's complicated", he said. "We have been robbed blind", said Stavros Vassiliou, 65, "I worked 41 years in construction.

GOP Lawmaker Injured In Congressional Baseball Shooting Calls For Greater Security
Roger Williams , who recalled the terrifying experience in an interview with Fox News Thursday morning. Barth was one of four victims shot Wednesday, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise , U.S.

If it were, there might be pressure on President Trump to take action against Kim Jong-un's regime, he says.

Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea's Supreme Court in March 2016.

North Korea will top the agenda at next week's high-level talks between United States and Chinese officials, he added.

Critics of engagement with North Korea say Rodman's visits legitimize the country's ruling regime. The North Koreans "were informed that the airplane would land, American and medical officials would get out". He visited Warmbier with two doctors on Monday, and demanded his release on humanitarian grounds. Their statement said Rodman is in the "very rare position to be able to claim long-time friendships" with both leaders.

A statement issued in NY by a Rodman publicist said the former National Basketball Association player is in the rare position of being friends with the leaders of both North Korea and the United States. Some media reports said the North Koreans suggested Otto had come down with a case of botulism and fell into a coma after being given a sleeping pill.

During a meeting with 17 provincial and metropolitan leaders, he said he would ensure a constitutional amendment likely next year that includes a clause aimed at enhancing the powers of local administrative units.

We said, at the time of Mr. Warmbier's arrest and conviction, that North Korea has a history of obtaining worldwide prisoners who later can be used as political bargaining chips.

The U.S. government accuses North Korea of using such detainees as political pawns.

North Korean representatives at the United Nations did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Moon, a center-left politician who was sworn in last month after a landslide election win, wants to engage with the North to bring it to the negotiating table, rather than continuing the hardline stance taken by his ousted predecessor Park Geun-Hye.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER