World

USA confirms high-level visit to N. Korea behind student's release

USA confirms high-level visit to N. Korea behind student's release

North Korea announced Warmbier's arrest in late January 2016, saying he committed an anti-state crime with "the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation". Warmbier arrived in OH after be. After two doctors visited Warmbier, a US official demanded his release on humanitarian grounds, the State Department said, and he was evacuated Tuesday.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, was detained in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in March last year for trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean media.

A person believed to be Otto Warmbier is transferred from a medical transport airplane to an awaiting ambulance at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., June 13, 2017.

Otto Warmbier's parents said their son is in a coma and has been for more than a year - but they only learned about his condition a week ago.

The family also released a statement saying that officials in North Korea told them that Otto Warmbier had become ill with botulism and had been in a coma for well over a year now. His parents said that University of Virginia students had been on a tour of the reclusive country.

The release of Warmbier, 18 months into a 15-year sentence, came as US President Donald Trump invited South Korea's new leader Moon Jae-In to Washington for talks on the escalating standoff over the North's nuclear program.

In Wyoming, resident Amy Mayer said news of his release had sent waves of shock and joy through the neighborhood. We devoutly hope that good medical care can quickly restore his physical condition. "So I think that people are trying to be supportive of the family and let the community-family know that we are very with them". "Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal".

Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release.

When it comes to the nation of North Korea, Dennis "The Worm" Rodman, the eccentric National Basketball Association all-time great, can not be easily ignored. North Korea repatriated a sick US citizen it had held captive for 17 months, and Dennis Rodman arrived with fanfare in Pyongyang.

Hours after his release, the USA government blamed Pyongyang for a raft of cyber attacks stretching back to 2009 and warned more were likely. He'd been in custody since January 2016 and was sentenced in March 2016 in a one-hour trial. Shortly before sentencing, was held a press-conference at which Warmbir, not hiding tears, asked forgiveness of the North Korean people, calling the attempt to steal the poster "the most awful mistake in life".




"In no uncertain terms North Korea must explain the causes of his coma", veteran former diplomat Bill Richardson said in a statement after speaking to Warmbier's parents.

They added they were grateful their son "will finally be with people who love him".

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.

Officials in then-President Barack Obama's administration said they would have blocked Rodman from visiting if they had any power to do so.

Together with Kenneth Bae, the DPRK government released Matthew Todd Miller, another US citizen who tore his visa upon arrival at Pyongyang International Airport in an alleged attempt to seek asylum and was later given a six-year sentence for similar charges.

Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield.

North Korea has released 22-year-old USA student Otto Warmbier from a 15 year sentence of hard labor, officials said June 13, 2017, as former United States basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in Pyongyang.

"What an incredible day for one of our citizens who was held in North Korea for more than a year", Nauert said.

The U.S. relies on Sweden to represent its interests in North Korea, since the U.S. has no direct diplomatic relations with North Korea itself.

One of four Americans detained in North Korea at the time, CNN reports that shortly after Swedish officials were allowed to visit them last week the North Korean government arranged a meeting with Joe Yun, the US envoy in NY, to tell him about Warmbier's condition.


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