Student released by North Korea arrives in Ohio

Warmbier's parents said in a statement Tuesday that he had been freed by the Communist state but had to be medically evacuated because he was in a coma.

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The State Department is continuing to discuss the situation of three other detained Americans with North Korea, Tillerson said.

He added that because America has no trade with North Korea, the most effective way to impose pressure is through "secondary sanctions" that threaten companies from third countries with losing access to the U.S. market if they deal with Pyongyang.

Warmbier's release fell on the same day as former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's arrival in Pyongyang for unknown reasons, his fifth known visit to the North.

United States officials refused to comment on Warmbier's condition, but former ambassador and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said he had spoken with the family. It also said that the Trump administration did not authorize Rodman's visit and warned Americans against going to North Korea.

Rodman - a former contestant on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice television show - has travelled to the reclusive state four times since 2013 as part of a quixotic mission to broker a detente deal between the USA and North Korea. He was detained when as tour group prepared to leave North Korea, charged with engaging in allegedly anti-state activity.

"The visit was the first time the United States was able to confirm Warmbier's status after he was sentenced", Fox News reported. He was charged with "hostile acts against the state".

He was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Warmbier had been serving a 15-year prison term.

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

- Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk, was detained April 22 at the Pyongyang airport. A United Nations commission documented in 2014 that "the use of torture is an established feature of the interrogation process" in North Korea. FILE - In this December 20, 2013, file photo, former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, watches from courtside during a practice session for North Korean basketball players in Pyongyang, North Korea.

"Even though they're saddened by his condition, they're just glad for the family that he is home", McCauley said. The North Koreans "were informed that the airplane would land".

As Warmbier heads to receive care in his home state of OH, the full story of his experience, the cause of his illness, and his long-term odds of recovery are still unknown. He visited Warmbier with two doctors on Monday, and demanded his release on humanitarian grounds. They were immediately taken to Warmbier.

Richardson said his center in Sante Fe, N.M. received a call Tuesday from the Warmbiers with an update on their son's condition.

A White House official said Trump had instructed Tillerson to take all appropriate measures to secure the release of Americans held in North Korea.

Warmbier's family was told that their son came down with a case of botulism soon after he was found guilty, and was subsequently given a sleeping pill.

It was apparently shortly after that date that Otto fell ill.

There was no immediate confirmation from USA officials of North Korea's description of his illness - including whether he was stricken with botulism, a potentially fatal disease that is caused by a toxin but is not usually associated with loss of consciousness.

She tells reporters, "we are grateful and thankful" for Warmbier's release, but says it is "too soon" to talk about dialogue between the USA and North Korea.

  • Leroy Wright