North Korea frees American student; parents say he's in coma

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman center poses

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman center poses

Warmbier was released by North Korea, where he was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

American college student Otto Frederick Warmbier has been released by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) after more than a year of imprisonment, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday.

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".

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.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman will visit North Korea.

"We pray for him and pray for his family", Shannon said, without providing other information.

Yun was under orders, which the official said came directly from Trump, to demand to see Warmbier immediately, and, "if he was in bad shape", to demand his immediate release and evacuation on the plane's return flight to the United States.

Rodman, who endorsed presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign and appeared twice as a contestant on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" TV show, said his latest visit was merely created to visit old friends and to "have a good time".

After the Swedish diplomats met with the detained Americans, the North Koreans urgently asked to have a meeting with the U.S.in NY.

Asked whether he was working on the release of detained Americans, he said, "that is not my objective right now".

There was no clear sign that the former National Basketball Association bad boy would meet leader Kim Jong Un, as he did on previous visits to the isolated country.

He has previously described his visits - including one in 2013 with the Harlem Globetrotters - as "basketball diplomacy" but has been roundly criticised for failing to raise human rights issues.

Warmbier also said he had been encouraged by the university's "Z Society", which he said he was trying to join.

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

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

Warmbier is escorted to his March 2016 trial in Pyongyang, North Korea, at which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labor.

While the release of the USA citizen might send a signal about eased tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, the DPRK Monday also expressed nostalgia for a period of relaxed relations with South Korea from 2000 to 2007, by marking the signing of the historic 2000 North-South Joint Declaration on inter-Korean relations.

Tillerson says that Warmbier is on his way back to the U.S.to be re-united with his family.

A senior Trump administration official told Fox News Rodman was going to the North "as a private citizen".

North Korea on Tuesday freed one of the detainees, Otto Warmbier.

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.

Warmbier said before his trial that he tried to steal the propaganda poster as a trophy for an acquaintance, who offered him a used auto worth $13,200 in exchange for the item.

The three other Americans detained by North Korea remain there. He was sentenced in March after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.