The intensifying strangeness of US-North Korea relations
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 20:21
He is in a coma for unexplained reasons.
Warmbier was not seen in public after his March 2016 sentencing.
Warmbier was detained in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in March 2016 for trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean media.
- South Korean-born USA citizen Kim Dong Chul, who was sentenced in April 2016 to 10 years in prison with hard labor after being convicted of espionage.
Multiple reports indicate that Warmbier fell into a coma the same month he was sentenced. "We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea".
But, there are no indication whether he will meet with President Kim Jong-un, who he has met during previous visits to the North.
Although Washington and Pyongyang have no official diplomatic relations, the US State Department's special envoy to North Korea, Joseph Yun made a visit to the hermit kingdom and demanded the release of Warmbier on what he cited as "humanitarian grounds".
Securing Warmbier's release "was a big priority" for President Donald Trump, who worked "very hard and very closely" with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "They were never really certain if those were actually from him or if it was just a ploy because you can never trust what the North Koreans are saying or telling you", family friend Michael Forsythe said. Of Otto's parents, Cynthia and Fred Warmbier, he said: 'I can't even begin to put myself in their shoes'.
The witness also said North Korea authorities did not use force against him, but were tough.
Two Ohio senators are denouncing North Korea after a resident of their state was said to be in a coma after being released from a prison in that country. The official said the last instruction Trump gave Tillerson was "Take care of Otto".
The 22-year-old is now being treated in hospital after the flight carrying him landed in OH on Tuesday.
Late this month, Moon will visit the United States for talks with Trump on DPRK-related issues, including countering Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, as well as ways to further strengthen the "ironclad U.S. -ROK alliance" and advance economic cooperation.
The release came amid tension between Washington and Pyongyang following a series of missile tests by the North, focusing attention on an arms buildup that Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on Monday dubbed "a clear and present danger to all".
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, confirmed the release but did not comment on Warmbier's health.
North Korea's first private university, PUST was founded and remains operated by actors outside the country, mostly Evangelical Christian organizations.
However, before his arrival in Pyongyang, Rodman told reporters that pleading to free detained Americans is not the objective of his visit right now.
Warmbier would have graduated in May.
Warmbier visited North Korea on an "adventure tour" organized by a China-based company specializing in budget trips to the reclusive country.
The North Korean court held that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist". Thousands of US troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world.