Pyongyang returns United States student, now in a coma
15 June, 2017, 01:35 | Author: Courtney Perry
In a tearful statement made before his trial, Warmbiertold a gathering of reporters in Pyongyang he was offered a used auto worth $10,000 if he could get a propaganda banner and was also told that if he was detained and didn't return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation.
A US college student imprisoned in North Korea whose family said has been in coma for more than a year was released early from a 15 year sentence of hard labor and returned to the United States Tuesday.
The mistreatment of Warmbier is attracting additional attention to North Korea at a time when US officials are already convinced that the rogue regime presents a serious threat to USA interests and national security.
Dennis Rodman, the former National Basketball Association bad boy who has palled around with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, flew to Pyongyang on Tuesday on a trip he says he hopes will "open a door" for his former "Celebrity Apprentice" boss - U.S. President Donald Trump.
Mr Warmbier was released on Tuesday but had to be medically evacuated from the country after it emerged he had been in a coma since he was jailed. "I think we're very excited yet very prayerful about what is happening because we've heard he is in a coma".
"Warmbier's parents hadn't heard from or seen him since he was sentenced and found out just last week that their son had been in a coma for nearly a year".
The Obama administration had attempted to gain access to American hostages through Swedish diplomats, but North Korea refused to give them access to the prisoners.
Three Americans are now known to be detained by the North Korean regime, with a the US State Department confirming that a fourth has been released late last night.
A hospital spokeswoman didn't provide an update on his condition. "We get to see our son Otto tonight". An unconfirmed report from North Korea states that Warmbier had contracted botulism following his trial, and was given a sleeping pill, but never woke up.
When asked if President Donald Trump knew of his trip, Rodam said: "Well, I'm pretty sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need".
"Each action can individually increase the cost and complexity of sanctions evasion for North Korea, but if applied against a number of these key nodes simultaneously, they could, in theory, cause the entire overseas system to collapse". Warmbier also stated that he had been told that if he was detained, a donation of $20,000 would be made to his mother. His parents had him transferred to University of Cincinnati Medical Center in ambulance.
Even as North Korea has been escalating its ballistic missile launches and warning of a new nuclear test, Kim continued the so-called "Track 2" dialogue in which former US officials and nuclear experts meet regularly with North Korean counterparts.
Direct, formal talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been on ice since North Korea dropped a proposal in early 2016 to engage in formal peace talks with the Obama administration to officially end the Korean War.
Trump was immediately informed and ordered Otto's medical evacuation, with the agreement of the North Koreans, according to people with knowledge of the process.
But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the visit "had nothing to do with the release".
"U.S. citizens in the DPRK are at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea's system of law enforcement", according to the U.S. Department of State. They all are naturalized Americans of Korean ethnicity.
"Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", they said. "Otto should have been released from the start", said US Sen.
He points out that action a year ago against just one Chinese company, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., resulted in a massive revenue loss to the North Korean government. The State Department together with the medical team is now trying their best to ensure Warmbier is well and reunited with his family.
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