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American student released from North Korea prison arrives in US

26 June 2017

Mr Warmbier's family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that their son fell ill from botulism some time after his March 2016 trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported.

Tillerson said the Department of State was continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens imprisoned there. Joseph Yun, the USA special envoy on North Korea, met with North Korean officials in Oslo in May and reached agreement for Swedish diplomats to visit Warmbier.

It radiotelescopio the Washington Post that since March past year their son is in a coma.

A statement issued in NY by a Rodman publicist said the former National Basketball Association player is in the rare position of being friends with the leaders of both North Korea and the United States.

Warmbier was a University of Virginia undergraduate when he made a decision to go to North Korea with a tour group.

He was detained at the airport as he was leaving the country with a tour group in January 2016.

Warmbier was arrested by North Korean authorities 17 months ago for allegedly attempting to steal a state propaganda poster. Shortly before sentencing, was held a press-conference at which Warmbir, not hiding tears, asked forgiveness of the North Korean people, calling the attempt to steal the poster "the most bad mistake in life".

Numerous U.S. officials, however, are questioning North Korea's narrative. "My Center for Global Engagement has worked on behalf of the Warmbier family with the North Korean government directly, including a visit late past year to advance negotiations for his release, as well as with both the Obama and Trump administrations".

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Yun arrived on Monday, visited Warmbier with two doctors and demanded his release, the official said.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said, "It's clear that Pyongyang has committed a grave injustice against Otto and his family, and the news that he may be returning with a serious medical problem raises concerns about what happened to him in North Korean custody".

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, said there should be an investigation into what happened to Warmbier leading to this "tragic situation". On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized.

But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the visit "had nothing to do with the release".

Officials could not immediately confirm U.S. media reports that Warmbier had fallen into a coma during his incarceration.

Mr Warmbier was carried off a medical transport plane that landed in Cincinnati and was having treatment at a hospital in the city today.

In the past, North Korea has held out until senior USA officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees, all the way up to former President Bill Clinton, whose visit in 2009 secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

Americans are regarded as enemies in North Korea because the two countries never signed a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Before Trump became president, Rodman appeared twice on his Celebrity Apprentice show and praised the billionaire real estate developer on Twitter during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier told in the statement that "Otto has left North Korea".

North Korea on Tuesday freed one of the detainees, Otto Warmbier.

Warmbier also said he had been encouraged by the university's "Z Society", which he said he was trying to join.

Tillerson indicated on Tuesday that Washington is looking for new ways to increase pressure on Pyongyang, telling senators that the White House is considering whether to impose "secondary sanctions" on third countries that do business with North Korea.

Late this month, Moon will visit the United States for talks with Trump on DPRK-related issues, including countering Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, as well as ways to further strengthen the "ironclad U.S. -ROK alliance" and advance economic cooperation.

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American student released from North Korea prison arrives in US