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China welcomes Rodman's visit to N. Korea

20 June 2017

Two ambulances were parked near an airport hangar.

"We get to see our son Otto tonight", Fred Warmbier told The Washington Post earlier Tuesday.

He was given a sleeping pill and had been in a coma ever since, the newspaper said. Governments from around the world also looked down upon the North Korean court's decision. And how does the Trump administration respond?

Lu said he has "consistently" welcomed and supported greater dialogue and contact between North Korea and the USA - as countries directly involved in the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue - to increase mutual understanding and trust.

Since taking office in January, U.S. President Donald Trump has faced growing tensions with North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.S. and global sanctions.

Warmbier's release came as former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, returning to the increasingly isolated nuclear-armed country where he previously met leader Kim Jong Un.

The release came amid tension between Washington and Pyongyang following a series of missile tests by the North, focusing attention on an arms buildup that Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on Monday dubbed "a clear and present danger to all". "We learned of this only one week ago", they said in a statement.

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At the time of his arrest, Warmbier had been on an organized New Year's tour in North Korea, a five-day stopover on his way to Hong Kong for a study-abroad trip. He was charged with "hostile acts against the state". He was sentenced to 15 years with hard labor after an hour-long trial. He was sentenced in March after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

"U.S. citizens in the DPRK are at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea's system of law enforcement", says the latest travel warning, updated last month. "Thank God", they told CNN.

Dennis Rodman, the former National Basketball Association bad boy who has palled around with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, flew to Pyongyang on Tuesday on a trip he says he hopes will "open a door" for his former "Celebrity Apprentice" boss - U.S. President Donald Trump.

He has previously described his visits - including one in 2013 with the Harlem Globetrotters - as "basketball diplomacy" but has been roundly criticised for failing to raise human rights issues. A United Nations commission documented in 2014 that "the use of torture is an established feature of the interrogation process" in North Korea.

Warmbier's parents confirmed their son's condition.

He said that Beijing's pledges to clamp down on the North had been "uneven", but added: "They have taken steps, visible steps that we can confirm". The North Korean government labeled his crime an "act of hostility against the state".

The statement from Leigh contradicts the more serious claim North Korea made in May.

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Yun's visit came amid heightened tensions over North Korea's defiant pursuit of advanced military technologies, but US media reports said, his mission, directly ordered by Trump, was centered on the 22-year-old student's immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

But the important thing in the immediate future is Mr. Warmbier's health.

Yun insisted on Warmbier's immediate release on humanitarian grounds, officials said, and the North Koreans agreed.

The Warmbier family released a statement Tuesday saying they are grateful their son will finally be home with the people who love him.

Out of respect for the privacy of Mr. Warmbier and his family, we have no further comment on Mr. Warmbier.

She says it's an "extremely sad" situation that student Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) is in a coma. 'The journey for them has been very hard, to say the least, and they still need our support and love'.

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China welcomes Rodman's visit to N. Korea