US college student released by North Korea home, but in coma

U.S. student Otto Warmbier

U.S. student Otto Warmbier

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed on Tuesday that the regime had freed Otto Warmbier, adding that the 22-year-old is returning home.

But he noted that the State Department is continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens who are jailed there.

Administration officials said Monday was the first time the United States was able to confirm Warmbier's status after he was sentenced, and the official said Yun immediately demanded the North Koreans release Warmbier on humanitarian grounds. Tillerson, at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, declined to comment on Warmbier's condition.

We said, at the time of Mr. Warmbier's arrest and conviction, that North Korea has a history of obtaining global prisoners who later can be used as political bargaining chips.

After a short trial on 16 March, Mr Warmbier was given a 15-year prison sentence for crimes against the state.

Hours after his release, the U.S. government blamed Pyongyang for cyber attacks stretching back to 2009 and warned more were likely. As for the current trip, here's what Rodman said about his aspirations, in a video released just before he departed: "Hopefully we come back with a positive attitude, and hope that the door can be a little bit open".

"The last 17 months have been an extremely hard and emotionally trying time for the Warmbier family", Sullivan added. In a televised trial, he was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor as he publicly confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner. The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with the reclusive country and works through Sweden to deal with North Korean officials.

Last week North Korean officials told Yun of Warmbier's medical condition.

The State Department is still investigating the North Korean version of events.

Jeffrey Fowle, another USA tourist from OH detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a US government plane.

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Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield, and Rodman has been criticized for failing to use his influence on leaders who are otherwise isolated diplomatically from the rest of the world.

Besides Warmbier, who was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner at a staff-only floor of his hotel, three other USA citizens are held by North Korea for similar antistate charges.

But when TV news host Tucker Carlson asked whether President Trump's administration had been more helpful, Fred Warmbier said nobody from the new government reached out to them. The automaker, owned in a joint venture with the deceased North Korean Reverend Sun Myung Moon's influential Unification Church, only cranks out a few hundred cars a year.

Meanwhile, the White House said Moon and Trump will meet on June 29 and 30 to discuss ways of building on what America frequently calls its "ironclad" alliance with South Korea.

Foreign detainees in North Korea have previously recanted confessions, saying they were made under pressure.

"Let me reiterate this: We strongly, strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea", Nauert said.

North Korea has woefully inadequate medical care, and it is not clear how North Korean doctors had been caring for Warmbier for more than a year in an unconscious state.

North Korea is believed to be making progress toward developing a ballistic missile capable of reaching the US.

"Otto's detainment and sentence was unnecessary and appalling, and North Korea should be universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior", said Republican Sen.

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