Culture&Arts

Parents of US student to detail his time in North Korean prison

Parents of US student to detail his time in North Korean prison

Otto Warmbier, the United States student released by North Korea this week after falling into a coma while in a labor camp, has suffered "severe neurological injury", a hospital spokesman said Thursday.

Otto Warmbier, 22, has a "severe" neurological injury but is stable and receiving treatment at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, center spokeswoman Kelly Martin said at a news briefing at Warmbier's high school in Wyoming, Ohio.

Doctors plan to hold a news conference on campus later.

Warmbier said that North Korea's regime had "brutalized and terrorized" his son for more than a year, and that he's happy Otto Warmbier is now home.

Fred Warmbier said there's relief to have their son home in the arms of those who love him and anger that he was so brutally treated for so long. He said there was no reason for North Korea to keep his 22-year-old son's condition a secret and deny him top medical care.

Another Ohioan previously held by North Korea: Warmbier is the second southwest Ohio resident to be held captive and released by North Korea in the past three years. "We learned of this only one week ago", the parents said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said efforts to get them released are continuing. If Warmbier's health gets worse, it will definitely restrict USA diplomatic options for entering negotiations on the North Korean nuclear program.




The Obama administration advised the Warmbiers to "take a low profile" following Otto's detainment in January 2016, Fred said.

With Warmbier's release, three other Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman gives North Korean sports minister copy of President Donald Trump's book "The Art of the Deal".

State-run Korean Central News Agency published a short, grainy clip of a tall man, presumed to be Warmbier, taking down a propaganda sign from the wall in a corridor of a staff-only floor at the Yanggakdo International Hotel.

Rodman, one of the only Westerners to have personally met Kim Jong Un, has been criticized for a prior trip where he sang "Happy Birthday" to Kim and suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized.

The student's release came after Joseph Yun, the U.S. State Department's special envoy on North Korea, travelled to Pyongyang to demand his release.

When asked by reporters if he would bring up the cases of Warmbier and three other Americans detained in North Korea, Rodman said, "That's not my objective right now". In April 2016, South Korean-born USA citizen Kim Dong Chul was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor.


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