Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was detained for alleged hostile acts against the state while traveling in North Korea as a tourist, returned home to the U.S. Tuesday after more than a year in captivity.
MITCHELL: Almost as soon as President Trump took office in February, the State Department says President Trump ordered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to focus on Warmbier's plight.
North Korea has released 22-year-old USA student Otto Warmbier from a 15 year sentence of hard labor, officials said June 13, 2017, as former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in Pyongyang. Fred Warmbier said at yesterday's press conference.
Warmbier is now in treatment at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where doctors have described his condition as "unresponsive wakefulness".
Warmbier's future care and treatment will be kept confidential out of respect for the family, Kanter said.
North Korea is believed to operate political prison camps and foreign nationals have also been detained on political grounds, Ojea Quintana said.
How the news of Warmbier's condition might impact North Korea's fledgling tourism market remains unclear.
This time, Rodman has been much more low-key and even diplomatic, releasing a video saying he was "trying to open doors between both countries".
The North Korean regime deemed him a "war criminal" and "brutalized and terrorized" him during his detainment, his father said.
One of the most puzzling aspects is why North Korea held onto Warmbier for 15 months after he fell into a coma - something that no doubt worsened his condition and that would have proven expensive and hard to treat for a country with few medical resources.
Gary Locke, a former US ambassador to China, has said that North Korea uses Americans in detention as "bargaining chips".
Blue-and-white ribbons in the school's colors were tied around trees and utility poles all the way along the city's main road in a show of support.
Warmbier was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months.
Dr. Jordan Bonomo, director for Neurocritical Care Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, said respiratory arrest is the main cause of cardiopulmonary arrest in a young person, and respiratory arrest is typically caused by "intoxication or traumatic injury".
WARMBIER: The question is, do I think the past administration could have done more?
State Department officials refused to comment on Warmbier's health, citing department guidelines, but said the last time the US had any access to Warmbier, through the Swedish Embassy, was March of past year.
It's not clear what lies ahead for Warmbier.
"The results speak for themselves", he said in a news conference, adding that President Trump, by contrast, reached out to him personally.
Fred Warmbier praised the Trump administration's efforts: "They have our thanks for bringing Otto home".
"When North Korea gets into a diplomatic dispute with the US government, they like to grab any American they can find and use them as bargaining chips", Robertson said.