In an interview with Fox News Wednesday, he said his son was “terrorized and brutalized” during his detention and that he has been in a coma for more than a year, though his family only learned about that condition last week.
A few hours after his arrival in North Korea, the regime freed American student Otto Warmbier, who had been detained for 17 months in the Asian country and is now in a coma.
The doctors said Warmbier is in a “state of unresponsive wakefulness” and showed no sign of “understanding language” or “awareness of his surroundings”. Doctors treating him in the US said they found no evidence of botulism, but did find severe brain damage consistent with losing oxygen to the brain. “He has not engaged in any purposeful movements”, Kanter said. An analysis suggests the injury likely occurred in the preceding weeks.
The doctors are also uncertain what caused the injuries.
While doctors are uncertain as to what exactly caused the condition, cardiac arrest that stops the flow of blood to the brain is generally seen as resulting in the death of brain tissue.
But instead of graduating in May with the rest of his class, Warmbier was still in North Korea.
President Moon said Thursday he was willing to sit “knee-to-knee, head-on-head” with North Korea to discuss peace and cooperation on the condition that it refrain from any additional missile or nuclear test.
Fred Warmbier was visibly emotional during a news conference on Thursday, where he said his son Otto, fought to stay alive through the brutality and terror he endured in North Korea. “North Korea has proven they are not nature’s noble men”.
He called on North Korea to release other American detainees. “But they provide fodder for the North Koreans, and my son happened to become fodder for the North Koreans”.
Doctors said they examined Warmbier’s body and saw no evidence of fractures that might be evidence of severe beatings.
Kanter declined to share Warmbier’s prognosis in the press conference as is the family’s request.
Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in March last year after traveling to North Korea while he was a student at the University of Virginia. According to his parents, he had been touring the country.
He was arrested for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan, North Korean media reported. The said material was used during the court trial where he was found guilty of committing “hostile acts” while on tour.
Warmbier also revealed he and his wife were told by Obama administration officials not to hang ribbons representing Otto’s captivity in their community because it would have been offensive to North Korean officials. “U.S. citizens in the DPRK are at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement”, the State Department travel warning reads, “This system imposes unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States and threatens USA citizen detainees with being treated in accordance with ‘wartime law of the DPRK’”.
Although doctors had no information about the type of medical treatment Warmbier received while in North Korea, they did receive MRI images from North Korea dated April 2016, Kanter said.
Joseph Yun, Washington’s special envoy on North Korea, added they were working to secure their freedom as well.
Warmbier, 22, is in stable condition at the UC Medical Center, where he was taken after his arrival in OH late Tuesday after more than 17 months in North Korean captivity.
June. 16: In the wake of an American student succumbing to a coma while detained by North Korean authorities, the United States is mulling a possible legal prohibition on Americans traveling to North Korea. He called on the country to release other Americans now held there.
‘At no stage did I ever think he was anything but a very, very polite kid’.
He left the vehicle and spoke to the crowd.
“I know the answer to that”, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said – but then she wouldn’t say.
“We’re proud of him, too”, some in the crowd shouted back.
New details that emerged Thursday about Yun’s brief visit to the North Korean capital illustrate the deep level of estrangement between the USA and North Korea, two countries that don’t have diplomatic relations and have technically been in a state of war for more than half a century, despite the armistice that ended the Korean War.
A member of the ex-Chicago Bull star’s entourage said Rodman was going to try to bring peace between the two nations. “That’s not my goal right now”, he said.
The North is now holding three other USA citizens.