Otto Warmbier, 23, a student at the University of Virginia, was arrested for stealing a propaganda poster as a tourist in North Korea in January last year and sentenced to 15 years' hard labour after a tearful confession. Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, was arrested while on a visit to North Korea on December 31, 2015.
CINCINNATI (AP) - An American college student who was released from a North Korean prison is finally home but in a coma and undergoing treatment at an OH hospital where he was taken shortly after arriving on US soil.
A person believed to be Otto Warmbier is transferred from a medical transport airplane to an awaiting ambulance at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., June 13, 2017. His parents say he has been in a coma and was medically evacuated.
The University of Virginia student, a native of Cincinnati, had attempted to steal a propaganda banner while he was in North Korea for a five-day visit.
Yun's trip was the highest-level U.S. visit since then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper travelled to North Korea in 2014 to secure the release of two Americans, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, who had been sentenced to hard labour.
Donald Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said securing Mr Warmbier's release "was a big priority" for the president, who worked "very closely" with the. He has not been seen in public since he was sentenced in March 2016.
As North Korea maintains a relentless quest to develop a missile capable of reaching the United States mainland and has conducted a number of nuclear tests this year, Warmbier's release is as confounding as it is welcomed. The basketballer said, on this trip, his aim is to try to "bring sports to North Korea".
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.
A North Korean foreign ministry official said Warmbier was released and left the country Tuesday morning.
Yun arrived on Monday, visited Warmbier with two doctors and demanded his release, the official said. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him". "This is wrong", David Lee, one of the men who said he studied with Kim, told CNN.
Mr Tillerson told the Senate foreign relations committee yesterday that it was time for the U.S. to work with other nations to deny the North access to supplies such as oil, amid fears that the regime is making progress toward a ballistic missile that could hit America.
The Warmbier family said they were informed that North Korean officials had told American envoys that their son became ill with botulism soon after his show trial.
According to the State Department, North Korea got urgently in touch with the United States at the United Nations on June 6 to say that Mr. Warmbier was in a coma and needed medical attention. The North Korean government, on the other hand, says that the poster was stolen "pursuant to the USA government's hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".
"Let me reiterate this: We strongly, strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea", Nauert said.
University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan said the whole UVA community was relieved to learn of Warmbier's release but was "deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma".
That sense of relief is shared throughout this nation, which also wonders how long North Korea will be permitted to continue its nuclear designs and to foment unsafe worldwide threats.
South Korea on Wednesday welcomed the release of an American college student long detained in North Korea and vowed efforts to free its own citizens held in the communist country.