U.S. college student released by North Korea home, but in coma

Posted June 15, 2017

It was after the Swedish consular visit - confirming Warmbier's condition - that North Korea urgently requested to meet with Yun in NY last week.

Otto Warmbier was rushed to a Cincinnati hospital shortly after arriving from Pyongyang late Tuesday night.

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.

The revelation that he had been in a coma in North Korea for more than a year will inject new momentum into efforts to have the other three released, said Evans Revere, a former senior official in the State Department who still talks to North Korean representatives. Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016.

The last time Rodman visited North Korea, he delighted the country's young ruler with a rendition of "Happy Birthday", suffered an angry meltdown on CNN while defending his trip, and spent time at a rehab facility.

"In no uncertain terms, North Korea must explain the causes of his coma", Mr Richardson said. Joseph Yun, held secret meetings with North Korean diplomats in Oslo and NY before flying to Pyongyang to bring home a long-detained comatose American college student, a news report said Wednesday. When the Swedes finally got the okay to visit, the North Koreans immediately asked for a meeting with Joe Yun, the United States envoy in NY, when he was told about Otto Warmbier's condition.

The parents of a college student released by North Korea after 17 months of detention are expected to discuss their son's condition publicly.

He was given a sleeping pill after becoming ill after his trial previous year and did not wake up, North Korea said.

"For all of Kim Jong Un's bravado and his flaunting of the threat of nuclear-armed missiles, he really, really does not want an American citizen to perish under his custody", said Danny Russel, a State Department official on sabbatical who served as senior Asia director at the National Security Council in the Obama administration. His release followed secret negotiations between American officials and the government in Pyongyang that unfolded as tensions escalated over North Korea's nuclear program. Warmbier also stated that he had been told that if he was detained, a donation of $20,000 would be made to his mother.

He is now being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Yun arrived on Monday, visited Warmbier with two doctors and demanded his release, the official said.

A second person who was involved in early discussions with North Koreans about American prisoners said Mr. Warmbier's family at one point told friends they believed the North had killed their son.

Chul was sentenced in 2016 to ten years of forced labor, nearly a week after Otto Warmbier was imprisoned. A medical team and aircraft were organized, and North Korea was informed that a delegation would travel there.

Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Rodman had nothing to do with Warmbier's release. "We learned of this only one week ago", Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. In 2013, ahead of his first trip, I wrote a tipsheet for Rodman on the vile record of the North Korean regime.

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

Jeffrey Fowle, another US tourist from OH detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a USA government plane. "Otto should have been released from the start", Portman said in a statement. Fowle left a Bible in a local club hoping a North Korean would find it, which is considered a criminal offense in North Korea. The State Department together with the medical team is now trying their best to ensure Warmbier is well and reunited with his family.