Domingo, 17 Diciembre, 2017

North Korea frees American student; parents say he's in coma

Irune Rengel | 14 Junio, 2017, 11:20

Fred and Cindy Warmbier also said they were told by North Korean officials Mr Warmbier had contracted botulism, a rare illness causing paralysis, after his trial.

Warmbier, who is 22, is due to arrive home in Cincinnati Tuesday evening, having been evacuated through an American military base in Sapporo, Japan.

According to the State Department, North Korea got urgently in touch with the United States at the United Nations on June 6 to say that Mr. Warmbier was in a coma and needed medical attention.

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

Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea's Supreme Court in March 2016.

The US condemned the sentence at the time, accusing North Korea of attempting to use Warmbier as a political pawn amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

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She tells reporters, "we are grateful and thankful" for Warmbier's release, but says it is "too soon" to talk about dialogue between the USA and North Korea.

Three other Americans are now detained in the North Korea. Officials involving with securing Warmbier's release told The Washington Post that Rodman had nothing to do with it.

Since taking office in January, U.S. President Donald Trump has faced a growing national security challenge from North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.S. and global sanctions.

A North Korean foreign ministry official confirmed that Mr Warmbier had been released and had left the country on Tuesday morning. FILE - In this December 20, 2013, file photo, former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, watches from courtside during a practice session for North Korean basketball players in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Warmbier was flown out of North Korea on the same day that Dennis Rodman, the controversial basketball star, arrived for his fifth visit in Pyongyang.

"All we know so far is what they have told us", the official said.

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He was met by North Korean Vice Minister of Sports Son Kwang Ho. He is looking to increase economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, with help from China but has said he's open to meeting Kim. "So, we are grateful today that he is released and he is on his way back to the United States".

The U.S. apparently only learned of Warmbier's condition about a week ago after Swedish diplomats visited him.

"We're waiting to see what the news is and take the lead of his family", said Kenny.

OTTO WARMBIER, Released North Korean Prison: I have made the worst mistake of my life. The State Department strongly advises against USA citizens traveling to the isolated nation, but Americans can secure tourist visas if they travel with an organized tour group and are accompanied by North Korean government officials.

Warmbier also said he had been encouraged by the university's Z Society, which he said he was trying to join.

At last month's graduation ceremony in Charlottesville, University of Virginia students reportedly passed out stickers bearing a #FreeOtto message.

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