USA confirms high-level visit to N. Korea behind student's release

North Korea releases US citizen Otto Warmbier

North Korea releases US citizen Otto Warmbier

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed on Tuesday that the regime had freed 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, who has now arrievd back in the United States.

Warmbier, a 22-year-old undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by North Korea's Supreme Court in March 2016 after tearfully confessing to trying to steal a political banner from a hotel.

US officials learned of Warmbier's medical condition last week during a meeting with a North Korean official, and by Monday, a USA delegation including a medical team had arrived in Pyongyang to bring him home, according to an account provided by the State Department.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement to The Associated Press that their son is in a coma and flying home.

Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea this week, the former National Basketball Association star announced on Twitter, and a pot cryptocurrency is sponsoring his trip.

The release of Otto Warmbier, 18 months into a 15-year sentence, came as US President Donald Trump invited South Korea's new leader Moon Jae-In to Washington for talks on the nuclear standoff.

After more than 17 months in detention in North Korea (with most of that time allegedly being comatose), Otto Warmbier has landed in the United States.

Warmbier was detained at Pyongyang airport while on his way home to the USA in January 2016. Rob Portman, who represents Warmbier's home state of Ohio.

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far.

Since taking office in January, U.S. President Donald Trump has faced a growing national security challenge from North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.S. and worldwide sanctions. He has visited North Korea four times, including a 2014 trip where he was shadowed by a crew from Vice. A professor at the university's school of commerce, Jeremy Marcel, told local television station WLWT-5 that Warmbier was "a very intelligent, wonderful young man".

He said the USA continues to have talks with Pyongyang about three other American citizens who are reportedly detained in the North.

America appeared to be on a collision course with China today after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that the U.S. was considering imposing sanctions on countries that do business with North Korea.

In that meeting about a week ago, Yun was told that Warmbier had contracted botulism a year ago and went into a coma after taking a sleeping pill.

"I want to thank the folks at PotCoin", Rodman said, "They realized the importance of this trip and made it all possible for me". For months, people weren't talking about Warmbier's situation for fear that North Korea would hurt or kill him.

Three weeks later, North Korea announced it was holding Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, for a "hostile act" against the state. With concern mounting over Warmbier's deteriorating condition since the State Department learned of it in early June, a delegation arrived in Pyongyang on June 12 that included a State Department representative and a medical team.

"Our son is coming home", Fred Warmbier told The Washington Post. US officials did not confirm those details.

"We wish him well, but we have issued travel warnings to Americans and suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety", U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon told reporters after discussing the North Korean missile threat and other issues with Japanese counterparts.

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