Jailed US student released in North Korea
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 11:36
An airplane carrying Otto Warmbier, who is from OH, landed in Cincinnati late Tuesday night. Warmbier was evacuated Tuesday. Rodman had told reporters before arriving in Pyongyang that the issue of Americans detained by North Korea is "not my objective right now".
A plane carrying Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) arrived around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday at an airport in Cincinnati where he was to be taken to a hospital. They said they were told their son has been in a coma since his trial - when he was last seen in public - and they had learned of this only one week ago.
But in a twist of fate, the 22-year-old has been found to be in a coma after 17 months of incarceration. He said Warmbier, of Wyoming, in suburban Cincinnati, was en route to the U.S.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release.
The White House official was not authorized to speak on the record about the sequence of events and requested anonymity.
Sentence: 15 years of hard labor, which started to take a severe toll on Bae's health.
It's unclear what is on Rodman's agenda, though he said in a statement, "I'm really looking forward to spending time with the wonderful people of North Korea and of course, visiting with the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un".
Leigh said he was detained in the room at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport for four days on charges of spying on North Korea military facilities. His parents say he's in a coma.
"I thank Dennis Rodman for being a catalyst for my release", Bae told CNN a year ago.
Yun and a medical team were sent to North Korea on Monday to secure Warmbier's release, the official said, and Yun demanded Warmbier be released on humanitarian grounds.
Pinkston said the trip was likely part of an effort by the North's foreign ministry to ease tensions with Washington. Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare as they do not have formal diplomatic relations.
It wasn't immediately clear whether his release was connected to Rodman's visit.
Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield.
Following the May meeting in Oslo, North Korea urgently requested another meeting, which took place last week between the USA envoy on North Korea, Joseph Yun, and the North's ambassador at the U.N.in NY. Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, left, towers over North Korean children during his visit to Mangyongdae, the birth place of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
"We received a call from Cindy and Fred Warmbier early today to update us on Otto's condition".
In Seoul, South Korea, U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon said "we pray for him and we pray for his family".
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.
Sentence: 12 years of hard labor each, with no chance for appeal.
The sponsorship details were not known but PotCoin said in a press statement that Rodman would provide more information about his trip upon returning to the United States. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country's "despicable actions ... must be condemned".
"Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", they said. Critics of engagement with North Korea say Rodman's visits legitimize the country's ruling regime. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him". The State Department would not comment on Warmbier's condition, citing privacy concerns. US officials did not confirm those details.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the release, and said Washington remains in talks with the isolated regime "regarding three other USA citizens reported detained".
Flamboyant former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea Tuesday, June 13 after saying he wants to "open the door" to the regime and claiming that US President Donald Trump would be pleased with his mission.