American Student Freed By North Korea Arrives Home

Aaron Brown
June 27, 2017

Tillerson says the State Department secured Warmbier's release at President Donald Trump's direction.

A plane carrying Warmbier returned to the United States on Tuesday night.

Richardson said his center in Sante Fe, N.M. received a call Tuesday from the Warmbiers with an update on their son's condition. "Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", they said.

Imprisoned in North Korea are three of a United States citizen.

The curious timing of Warmbier's return to Cincinnati is nearly as startling as Rodman's continued flirtation with Kim and his Communist regime.

Warmbier's parents were told their son was given a sleeping pill soon after his trial in March previous year and never woke. "At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident".

"We had to go through the government of Sweden, our protected power, in order to get any kind of information".

He was given a sleeping pill and had been in a coma ever since, the newspaper said.

Rodman watched a women's basketball team practice at a gym Wednesday and visited the birthplace of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current leader.

Otto Warmbier speaks at a news conference in North Korea, in 2016. Warmbier's family said in a statement that he is in a coma and on his way home.

University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan said the whole UVA community was relieved to learn of Warmbier's release but was "deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma".

North Korea has a track record of detaining South Korean and American travelers, and using them as diplomatic leverage in negotiations with the detainees' home countries.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that 22-year old Otto Warmbier is on his way back to the state of Ohio.

In March 2016, a North Korean kangaroo court, after a one hour show trial, concluded, according to the state-run North Korean Central News Agency, that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the USA government's hostile policy toward [the North], in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

Pyongyang accused him of supporting the US hostile policy against the DPRK and undermining the unity of the DPRK people.

After a brief trial broadcast by North Korean state television, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labor.

The statement from Leigh contradicts the more serious claim North Korea made in May. Instead, he was apprehended on January 2, 2016 at the Pyongyang International Airport on charges of committing a "hostile act" against the state, as he was preparing to leave the country.

Americans are regarded as enemies in North Korea because the two countries never signed a peace treaty at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

He was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties". He had also taught at the university. The magazine of the university's alumni association describes the Z Society as a "semi-secret ring society" founded in 1892 that conducts philanthropy, puts on honorary dinners and grants academic awards.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, confirmed the release but did not comment on Warmbier's health. "Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal".

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

After a short trial on 16 March, Mr Warmbier was given a 15-year prison sentence for crimes against the state.

Richardson, also a former congressman, energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations, has always been involved in efforts to secure the release of prisoners and hostages, including those held by North Korea.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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