American Student Freed By North Korea Arrives Home

American student Otto Warmbier released from North Korea reportedly in a coma

USA and North Korean officials were quick to point out that Rodman had nothing to do with Tuesday's release of imprisoned American student Otto Warmbier.

"We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime" in North Korea, Warmbier's parents said. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor following a brief one hour trial and, despite pleas from American State Department officials that his sentence was "unduly harsh".

The announcement casts doubt on Pyongyang's claim that Warmbier fell into a coma as a result of contracting botulism and being given a sleeping pill.

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.

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".

When asked if he would bring up the cases of Warmbier and three other Americans detained in North Korea, Rodman told reporters, "That's not my goal right now".

U.S. officials refused to comment on Warmbier's condition, but former ambassador and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said he had spoken with the family.

Warmbier's parents were told their son was given a sleeping pill soon after his trial in March previous year and never woke.

The White House says securing the release of an American college student from a North Korean prison "was a big priority" for President Donald Trump.

"At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident", he said.

This combination of file photos shows former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang, North Korea on December 20, 2013, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017. "He doesn't deserve this", Fred Warmbier told the Enquirer last month in an interview.

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

Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release. A medical team and aircraft were organized, and North Korea was informed that a delegation would travel there.

The United States has accused Pyongyang of holding the detainees as political pawns for negotiations with Washington.

Otto Warmbier, the U.S. college student freed by North Korea this week, has a "severe brain injury", according to his doctors.

"We strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea", Nauert said.

The three are businessman Kim Dong Chul, arrested in April 2016, and two academics at the Western-funded, private Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-Song, arrested in April and May this year.

Pinkston said the trip was likely part of an effort by the North's foreign ministry to ease tensions with Washington. Sweden represents USA diplomatic interests in North Korea. He was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised trial in North Korea, when he publicly confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, confirmed the release but did not comment on Warmbier's health.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties". 'The journey for them has been very hard, to say the least, and they still need our support and love'.

The State Department announced Warmbier's release earlier Tuesday but gave no details on his condition.

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