Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
Warmbier’s parents hadn’t heard from or seen him since he was sentenced to 15 years in prison at hard labor in March 2016 for attempting to steal a propaganda poster at the end of a five-day tour in North Korea. He was sentenced in March of that year.
On the release of Warmbir said Tuesday, June 13, U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson.
But amid the relief, there are also new questions about what happened to him: How did a healthy 22-year-old man fall into such a deep coma?
“At the direction of the president, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea”, Tillerson said.
It was not immediately clear if Rodman’s visit to North Korea was purely coincidental with Warmbier’s release. It said he had been in that condition for a year.
“Our son is coming home”, his father Fred told the Washington Post last night.
She says it’s an “extremely sad” situation that student Otto Warmbier (WORM’-bir) is in a coma.
Two of the three other Americans being held in North Korea, Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak-song, are academics who worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
As NPR’s Elise Hu reports from Seoul, the US State Department has issued several warnings advising Americans not to travel to North Korea.
“I’m just trying to open the door”, the eccentric ex-Chicago Bulls power forward told reporters at Beijing airport before boarding his Air Koryo flight. ‘The only comment I have is that I am very happy that he is on his way home and to encourage folks to continue to pray for Otto and his family, ‘ Thomas said.
A USA citizen who is being held in North Korea on charges of “hostile acts” against the Kim Jong Un regime may actually have faced different charges at the time of his arrest, according to an eyewitness. Sure, it can fire on American, South Korean or Japanese forces, but if it does, it risks a major military conflict that it cannot win.
The 56-year-old former basketball star has visited North Korea at least four times.
Observers worry that Kim will use Rodman to try to improve his own public image.
Now with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan foreign policy and national security policy institute in Washington, Ruggiero suggested a travel ban of some sort might be in order.
It quickly fueled speculation that he had helped secure Warmbier’s release, given his previous trips to the reclusive nation and his support for President Donald Trump.
Ruggiero believes Rodman’s visit could harm worldwide efforts to strengthen sanctions on North Korea.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far.
It is the first time that the US administration has confirmed the dispatch of a ranking official to North Korea since President Donald Trump took office in January.
Rodman, who is known as much for his piercings, ever-changing hair colors and off-court antics as his basketball skills, has developed an unlikely relationship with the North Korean leader since making his first trip there in 2013. He is being held over “hostile acts” against the country.
Critics of engagement with North Korea say Rodman’s visits legitimize the country’s ruling regime. That’s when US officials first learned Warmbier was in a coma.
Word of the release came just as retired United States basketball pro – Dennis Rodman touched down in Pyongyang, his sixth visit to the nation in the last four years. But Bae has since said Rodman was the reason he was released.