Otto Warmbier 'was brutalised by pariah N Korea', parents say

Otto Warmbier 'was brutalised by pariah N Korea', parents say

Otto Warmbier 'was brutalised by pariah N Korea', parents say

Otto Warmbier, an American university student held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and said by his family to be in a coma, was medically evacuated to the U.S. on Tuesday as his local church continues to pray for him.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old college student detained and imprisoned in North Korea, is carried off of an airplane at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati on Tuesday. The family also released a statement saying that officials in North Korea told them that Otto Warmbier had become ill with botulism and had been in a coma for well over a year now.

"Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea", the father said in an interview scheduled to air Thursday night.

They also said they are grateful he "will finally be with people who love him".

She said US officials had a hard time getting information about Warmbier from North Korea.

Of Otto's parents, Cynthia and Fred Warmbier, he said: 'I can't even begin to put myself in their shoes'.

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

He was met by North Korean Vice Minister of Sports Son Kwang Ho at the airport, saying then, "I'm just here to see some friends and have a good time".

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The curious timing of Warmbier's return to Cincinnati is nearly as startling as Rodman's continued flirtation with Kim and his Communist regime.

Tillerson said in a statement that the U.S. State Department continues to have discussions with the DPRK regarding three other U.S. citizens reported detained.

Warmbier's parents confirmed their son's condition.

He informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who consulted with the president, the officials said. The last instruction the president left Tillerson was: "Take care of Otto", the official said.

Warmbier visited North Korea on an "adventure tour" organized by a China-based company specializing in budget trips to the reclusive country.

But on his final night in Pyongyang, Warmbier apparently went to a staff-only floor of his hotel and attempted to take down a large propaganda sign lauding the regime.

After a brief trial broadcast by North Korean state television, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labor.

He had not been seen in public since.

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The three other US citizens detained in North Korea are Kim Hak-song, an agricultural researcher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; Tony Kim (aka Kim Sang-duk), an accounting teacher from the same school; and Kim Dong-chul, a businessman.

Americans have been sentenced to years in North Korean prisons for seemingly minor offenses and likely could not expect leniency if the country's drug laws were violated.

The logistics were in place by Thursday.

An American student who fell into a coma while imprisoned in a North Korean labor camp returned to the United States late Tuesday after Pyongyang allowed him to be flown home, U.S. media reported. At the meeting, North Korea agreed that Swedish diplomats could visit all four American detainees, who at that time included Warmbier. There, North Korean officials told Yun about Warmbier's condition. Yun and two physicians flew to Pyongyang and visited Warmbier Monday.

At a press conference before his trial, a sobbing Warmbier said he had made "the worst mistake of my life" and pleaded to be released.

Rodman developed an unlikely relationship with the North Korean leader since making his first trip there in 2013.

Three other Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea.

In November 2014, USA spy chief James Clapper went to Pyongyang to bring home Matthew Miller, who had ripped up his visa when entering the country and was serving a six-year sentence on an espionage charge, and Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who had been sentenced to 15 years for alleged anti-government activities.

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The US has in the past accused North Korea of detaining its citizens to use them as pawns in negotiations over its nuclear weapons programme.

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