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

Postado Junho 24, 2017

OTTO Warmbier, an American university student held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and said by his family to be in a coma, has been medically evacuated from the reclusive country after a rare visit there from a high-level United States official.

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.

Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, was forced to confess to his "crimes" and later became critically ill during his incarceration.

Warmbier was found guilty and sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years hard labor.

In a statement the parents said: "Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March 2016".

Otto F. Warmbier, a USA college student held prisoner in North Korea for more than a year, has been medically evacuated from the reclusive country in a coma and is on his way back to the United States, according to a statement from his parents.

They say that Otto Warmbier is on a Medivac flight on his way home. Secretary of State Tillerson said on June 13, 2017, that North Korea released the jailed USA university student. "In no uncertain terms, North Korea must explain the causes of his coma".

David Simons was marveling that another country could treat an American like this. The third was a businessman.

Such detentions in the totalitarian nation have added to tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

OTTO WARMBIER, Released North Korean Prison: I have made the worst mistake of my life.

Thus, nothing more than a New Year's Eve college prank was elevated to phony charges that Warmbier had committed an act tantamount to trying to overthrow the government.

North Korea still has at least three Americans in illegal custody, no doubt enduring horrific conditions in violation of all norms of human decency.

Perhaps vice as a virtue is something that North Korea can be enticed to understand. Tony Kim reportedly worked as a professor there, while Kim Hak Song is believed to have studied and later worked at the school.

The three are businessman Kim Dong Chul, arrested in April 2016, and two academics at the Western-funded, private Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-Song, arrested in April and May this year. In a separate appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, top US defense officials also warned about the growing threat posed by the regime.

Tillerson's announcement comes as former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman is paying a return visit to North Korea. His classmates described him as a proud Korean with a passion for issues related to food security and agriculture.

He appeared emotional at a news conference a month later, in which he tearfully confessed to trying to take the sign as a "trophy" for a United States church, adding: "The aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people".

The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the sequence of events and requested anonymity, said that after Tillerson consulted with Trump, Yun was dispatched to North Korea. He had also taught at the university. He flew home Tuesday in a coma-like state, according to some media reports.

The two American teachers were arrested last month for allegedly carrying out hostile activities against Pyongyang.

The chancellor of the university, Chan-Mo Park, told the New York Times that Kim was involved in some extracurricular activities, such as volunteering at an orphanage. On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized. He said he would "discuss my mission upon return to the US".

South Korea-born Kim Dong Chul, now aged around 63 or 64, was arrested in October 2015 on charges of espionage and other undisclosed crimes.

The administration sent its special envoy last month to meet with a DPRK representative in Norway. Pyongyang assented, and preparations were made to bring Warmbier home. Panama is the third country to switch allegiances to China since Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party was swept to power past year, China's nationalistic Global Times reported, warning more would follow in a "domino effect".

The North Korean government reportedly arranged a limited press conference that was covered by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency and China's state-run Xinhua.

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