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Ailing US student freed by N. Korea arrives home

19 June 2017

A photo posted on an official regime propaganda website on June 9 shows Kim Jong-un reacting after the test launch of a cruise missile. An editorial in state media this week threatened to hit New York City with an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Richardson, who previously attempted to secure Otto Warmbier's freedom, was responding to the news that the 22-year-old from Cincinnati was heading home.

Otto Warmbier, an American college student jailed in North Korea, has been released, according to his parents.

Mr Warmbier's release came during a visit to North Korea by former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman.

Warmbier was a University of Virginia student when he chose to go to North Korea with a tour group. On January 2nd, 2016, he was arrested while trying to leave the country with his tour group and accused of stealing a propaganda poster. His current visit has already been roundly criticized by some for its timing, during high tensions between the USA and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

In rare high-level contacts, Yun met senior North Korean officials in Oslo in May, where it was agreed Swedish officials in Pyongyang, who handle USA consular affairs there, would be allowed to see all four American detainees, a State Department official said.

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The family of Otto Warmbier said he was in a coma and was on a Medivac flight home. "At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident".

"While the entire University of Virginia community is relieved to learn of Otto's release from North Korea, we are deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma", U-Va.

While North Korea's move to free Warmbier could potentially provide an opening for talks on security issues, the prospects still appear bleak.

The news surfaced after the flamboyant retired NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman - a former contestant on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" reality show - flew to Pyongyang to resume his quixotic quest to broker detente between his USA homeland and Kim Jong-Un's authoritarian regime.

Kim described Rodman as "a friend in a good reason" when they watched a basketball match together in Pyongyang back in 2013.

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According to a timeline prepared by Fox News, further meetings between US and North Korean officials took place thereafter. It's safe to say it stands up half-a-decade later.

Before arriving this time, Rodman told reporters that Trump would be happy with the trip because he was "trying to accomplish something that we both need", prompting speculation that he may be operating as an unofficial envoy.

He added that because America has no trade with North Korea, the most effective way to impose pressure is through "secondary sanctions" that threaten companies from third countries with losing access to the U.S. market if they deal with Pyongyang. "I've not spoken with Dennis Rodman".

She also reiterated the State Department's travel advice against going to North Korea, with which the United States has no diplomatic relations.

It remains to be seen how Trump's at-times-aggressive line with Pyongyang plays out. He said he would "discuss my mission upon return to the US". On Tuesday, the White House announced that recently elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in would visit Washington at the end of the month.

Jeffrey Fowle, another USA tourist from OH detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a US government plane.

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Ailing US student freed by N. Korea arrives home