He was freed Tuesday. “He is on a Medivac flight on his way home”.
Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier’s release.
His release came after Joseph Yun, the US State Department’s special envoy on North Korea, travelled to Pyongyang and demanded Warmbier’s release on “humanitarian grounds“, capping a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts, a US official said.
Mr Warmbier’s release comes hours after United States basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea.
But the important thing in the immediate future is Mr. Warmbier’s health. The Department of State continues to have discussions with the DPRK regarding three other USA citizens reported detained. Two of them – Kim Hak Song and Kim Sang Duk – are teachers of Korean origin who worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, and the third is a South Korea-born American named Kim Dong-chul.
Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare. Thousands of US troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. His family says he is in a coma. Yun met North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations on June 6 and was told about Warmbier’s condition, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Three Americans remain in custody. They say North Koreans told US authorities that their son contracted botulism and never awoke after he was given a sleeping pill.
Warmbier was supposed to graduate from the University of Virginia in May. Tillerson said the department would have no further comment on Warmbier and his condition, citing privacy concerns.
A hospital spokeswoman said Warmbier’s family was expected to hold a news conference Thursday morning at Wyoming High School.
A USA governor has claimed that Otto has been in a coma for around a year after suffering from botulism, caused by the country’s poor healthcare.
Warmbier’s release came as American retired professional basketball star Dennis Rodman started his five-day visit to the DPRK, a country he had visited four times before, raising speculation whether his non-official visit was connected with the release of the detained student.
A small group of family friends was nearby to celebrate Warmbier’s arrival, cheering and holding signs that read “Pray for Otto” and “Welcome home Otto”.
According to some intelligence reports, Warmbier was repeatedly beaten while imprisoned in North Korea. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country’s “despicable actions. must be condemned“. He was serving a 15-year service for pinching a poster while on a student trip to North Korea.
“We learned of this only one week ago”. According to Warmbier’s parents, their son was medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma, which he has reportedly been in for over a year after falling ill to botulism and then being given a sleeping pill. Otto grew up here and we know him as an intelligent, personable, and wonderful young man.
The State Department announced Warmbier’s release earlier Tuesday but gave no details on his condition.
It came as American college student Otto Warmbier returned home to OH last night after being freed from a North Korean prison. He says in a statement that the State Department secured Warmbier’s release at the direction of President Donald Trump.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the release and said Washington remained in talks with the isolated regime “regarding three other U.S. citizens reported detained”.