North Korea says it freed Warmbier over humanitarian reasons

Claudine Rigal
Juin 15, 2017

The comatose American college student released from North Korea must have gone through "horrendous mistreatment" in the communist nation, the Washington Post said Wednesday, calling for stronger sanctions on Pyongyang.

His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, say they were told he had been in the coma for over a year.

North Korea's state-run news agency said that a court had allowed Warmbier to return home "on humanitarian grounds", despite the fact that he had been sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor after he attempted to take a poster from his hotel. Interestingly enough, PotCoin's previously respectable value did a disastrous dive-bomb the day after Rodman landed in North Korea wearing one of their shirts.

Warmbier is now in a coma and has reportedly been in a comatose state since shortly after his conviction for crimes against dictator Kim Jong-un in 2016.

North Korea statement: North Korea said in a one-line statement it released Warmbier for what it calls humanitarian reasons.

"There's no excuse for the way the North Koreans treated our son", he said.

During his incarceration, the Warmbiers only heard from their son once - through a letter on March 2, 2016. The couple is devastated by what had happened to their son, saying, "We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korean".

It is unclear exactly what Rodman is doing is doing in North Korea.

But the state department spokesman Heather Nauert said Mr Rodman's visit "had nothing to do with the release".

The University of Virginia student was medically evacuated from North Korea and arrived in Cincinnati late Tuesday.

According to Kelly Martin, spokeswoman for the UC Health University of Cincinnati medial center, "Otto is in stable condition but has suffered a severe neurological injury".

United States officials have repeatedly said Rodman is travelling to North Korea as a private citizen, despite media speculation he is working as an unofficial emissary for Trump.

Warmbier was sentenced to a labor camp in March 2016 for "hostile acts" against the totalitarian government after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

It said that North Korea has detained six South Korean nationals - three pastors and three North Korean defectors.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman presents a book titled "Trump The Art of the Deal" to North Korea's Sports Minister Kim Il Guk Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

At least 16 US citizens have been detained in North Korea in the past 10 years, according to the State Department's travel advisory. But we're tremendously proud of him.

A White House official said Trump had instructed Tillerson to take all appropriate measures to secure the release of Americans held in North Korea. "And so we're looking to the future", said the father.

The Swedes had been denied consular access to all the American detainees until last month, following an agreement reached during a secret meeting in Oslo between Yun and high-level North Korean officials.

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