US Says Rodman Did Not Help In NKorea Release

US Says Rodman Did Not Help In NKorea Release

US Says Rodman Did Not Help In NKorea Release

North Korea is releasing US student Otto Warmbier, US media quote Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as saying.

On March 16, two hours after U.S. envoy Bill Richardson met with two North Korean diplomats from the United Nations office to press for Warmbier's release, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

A year later, another former United States president Jimmy Carter visited the North and won the release of American national Aijalon Mahli Gomes, sentenced to eight years of hard labour for illegally crossing into the North from China.

The student's parents said they were told their son has been in a coma since March 2016 but they learned of his condition only one week ago, according to a statement given to the Associated Press.

Three weeks later, North Korea announced it was holding Warmbier for a "hostile act" against the state.

Asked if he had spoken to Trump about his trip, he said, "Well, I'm pretty sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need".

Tillerson says the State Department continues discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea.

A senior State Department official told CNN that the USA has not yet accepted the North Korean version of events in terms of the timing and cause of how Warmbier went into a coma.

Update: Lunken Airport Manager confirms Otto Warmbier will arrive at Lunken around 10pm, he will then be transported to UC Medical Center.

WATCH: North Korea warns of "bigger gift package" for U.S.

In 2014, Rodman arranged a basketball game with other former NBA players and North Koreans and regaled leader Kim with a rendition of "Happy Birthday".

He was in North Korea as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tours when he was arrested on 2 January 2016. "At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident".

Warmbier was flown out of North Korea on the same day that Dennis Rodman, the controversial basketball star, arrived for his fifth visit in Pyongyang.

Rodman, one of the few people to know both of the nuclear-armed leaders, sported a black T-shirt advertising a marijuana cybercurrency as he talked to reporters briefly before his flight from Beijing to the North Korean capital. 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.

- In 2009, North Korea detained two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, for illegally crossing the border.

A White House official says the May meeting in Oslo was attended by Joseph Yun, the US envoy to North Korea.

Yun then met last week with the North Korean ambassador at the U.N.in NY.

The North has occasionally jailed USA citizens and released them only after visits by high-profile political figures, including former president Bill Clinton.

That was used as evidence in his hour-long trial, during which North Korea accused him of committing "hostile acts" against the regime at the urging of a purported member of a church in his home state of OH, a secretive university organization and the Central Intelligence Agency. Fowle left a Bible in a local club hoping a North Korean would find it, which is considered a criminal offense in North Korea. According to reports, Warmbier's parents were told he was given a sleeping pill after he was stricken by botulism, which caused him to slip out of consciousness.

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