To North Korea and back: Otto Warmbier's strange, sad trip

  • To North Korea and back: Otto Warmbier's strange, sad trip

To North Korea and back: Otto Warmbier's strange, sad trip

North Korea said on Thursday it has released American Otto Warmbier "on humanitarian grounds" after he had been held prisoner for 17 months.

Official on both the sides U.S. and North Korea denied any role playing by the National Basketball Association star in the release of Warmbier. It did not provide other details.

Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, had been in a coma since shortly after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 for stealing a propaganda banner in North Korea.

“Thats the main reason why were going, ” Rodman said in a video clip posted on his Twitter.

Joseph Yun, the point man on North Korea for President Donald Trump's administration, went to Pyongyang on Monday and left on a USA military medical evacuation plane with Warmbier on Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after Rodman arrived.

North Korean escapees have reported that it is common practice to send home prisoners who are very ill, said Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). He is now receiving treatment at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Richardson said he is now urging the Trump White House to make sure the USA government pays for Warmbier's care and ensures he has access to the nation's best doctors.

The US government has issued travel warnings to Americans against going to North Korea.

At some point in his detainment, Warmbier slipped into a coma and has appeared to be in a coma for at least a year.

Rodman apologized and the missionary, Kenneth Bae, later credited him as the "catalyst" for his eventual release.

But "what this accumulation of detainees reveals is that North Korea is a unsafe place, it is easy to step over some line", Haggard said, adding he was increasingly in favor of a tourism ban because the "hostages" were a liability for the US government.

The comatose return of an American college student from North Korea is bad for improving relations between the two countries, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson said Sunday.

His earlier visits to North Korea in 2013 and 2014 included a basketball game that he organized, an event chronicled in the documentary film "Big Bang in Pyongyang", which featured Rodman singing "Happy Birthday" to Kim.

Dennis Rodman has returned from a five-day trip to North Korea, but he did not meet with a man he once called his "friend for life" - Kim Jong Un. On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized.

"Pyongyang timed the release to deliver a message to Washington".

He said that the rare exchanges might be the beginning of "a diplomatic dance" that could lead to talks.