North Korea frees American student; parents say he's in coma

North Korea frees American student; parents say he's in coma

North Korea frees American student; parents say he's in coma

A plane carrying Warmbier arrived late Tuesday at an airport in Cincinnati. In January 2016, he was detained at the airport in Pyongyang while trying to take out a poster of political content.

Tillerson said the State Department secured his release at Trump's direction, and a spokeswoman was firm in saying Rodman's trip had nothing to do with Warmbier's release.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the release and said Washington remained in talks with the isolated regime "regarding three other USA citizens reported detained".

South Korea on Wednesday welcomed the release of an American college student long detained in North Korea and vowed efforts to free its own citizens held in the communist country.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr and Mrs Warmbier said: "Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March 2016".

According to the Washington Post, North Korean officials contacted American counterparts last week to tell them Warmbier was in a coma.

It is the first time that the USA administration has confirmed the dispatch of a ranking official to North Korea since President Donald Trump took office in January.

The release came after Joseph Yun, the State Department's special envoy on North Korea, travelled to Pyongyang and demanded his freedom on "humanitarian grounds", capping a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts, a USA official said. Otto grew up here and we know him as an intelligent, personable, and wonderful young man. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman made his fifth visit to the country, telling reporters before his arrival that he hoped to "open a door" between Kim and the rest of the world.

Police apprehended the student, identified only as 25-year-old Kim, Tuesday night for sending a homemade bomb to his professor's office at the engineering faculty building of the university in western Seoul earlier in the day.

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Mr. Warmbier's parents told the Associated Press Tuesday that they recently learned their son has been in a coma since March 2016, or shortly after his show trial. "We'll be relieved to have him home and are looking forward to surrounding him with people who love him".

Yun was under orders, which the official said came directly from Trump, to demand to see Warmbier immediately, and, "if he was in bad shape", to demand his immediate release and evacuation on the plane's return flight to the United States.

That sense of relief is shared throughout this nation, which also wonders how long North Korea will be permitted to continue its nuclear designs and to foment unsafe worldwide threats.

Imprisoned in North Korea are three of a United States citizen. The North Koreans agreed and he was flown out on Tuesday, the official said.

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

"Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal".

Warmbier would have graduated from U.Va. last month had he not been detained.

Three other Americans remain in North Korean jails.

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. He was arrested on January 2, 2016, at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport on the last day of a five-day tour.

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