Father of UVA Student Otto Warmbier Holds News Conference

Just-released North Korea detainee Otto Warmbier suffered a "severe neurological injury", a hospital official said, as the college student's dad blasted the regime that returned him in a cryptic coma.

According to doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Warmbier is a vegetable. UC Medical Center will hold a news conference at 3:00 Thursday.

Fred Warmbier explained that he was relieved Otto was "now home in the arms of those who love him" but he also felt "anger that he was so brutally treated for so long", Warmbier said during a press conference at Wyoming High School in OH where Otto had graduated.

The father of the University of Virginia student who was released from North Korea this week said US basketball Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman's visit to Pyongyang had no connection to the freeing of Otto Warmbier.

Asked whether he thought the previous administration could have done more, Fred Warmbier replied: "I think the results speak for themselves".

The University of Virginia student's parents were told he has been in a coma for about a year, and that he had contracted botulism, which causes paralysis. Otto's father, Fred Warmbier, gave a televised statement to the press on June 15, 2017.

Doctors declined to speculate on what may have caused Warmbier's condition and said they would not discuss his prospects or treatment out of respect for his family. "They're brutal, they're terroristic", he told reporters at a press conference in Wyoming, Ohio. "There's no excuse for the way North Koreans treated our son". North Korea claimed it had released him on "humanitarian grounds", without providing specifics of the situation.

Warmbier said even if the North Korean story was true, there's still no excuse for keeping a 15-month coma a secret until last week and denying him access to top-notch medical care. They said there is evidence Warmbier suffered a respiratory arrest, which led to a lack of oxygen to the brain.

"The North Koreans have a lot of explaining to do - they may have violated the Geneva Convention", Richardson told TIME. "He's now home with his family, and I am so tremendously proud of Otto".

Ohio Senator Rob Portman described the North Korean Government's handling of Mr Warmbier as "abhorrent" in an interview with Fox News.

The father also accused North Korea of luring Americans to the country with a Chinese touring company, making the false promise that visitors with their tours would never be detained.

  • Leroy Wright