USA prisoner released by North Korea is reportedly in coma

Dennis Rodman is seen here at Beijing's International Airport on his way to North Korea

Dennis Rodman is seen here at Beijing's International Airport on his way to North Korea

"At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident", Fred Warmbier told the paper.

"We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korean".

The North has occasionally jailed U.S. citizens on charges ranging from hostile acts to illegal entry, and released them only after visits by high-profile figures including former president Bill Clinton.

The Washington Post cited Warmbier's parents as saying he had been medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma.

Botulism can be life-threatening if not treated properly, and North Korean medical facilities are often woefully out of date.

Earlier, Tillerson had provided only few details about Warmbier or the circumstances around his release.

"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. State news media said Warmbier visited North Korea with the intention of "bringing down the foundation of its single-minded unity".

Rodman said the issue of several Americans currently detained by North Korea is "not my objective right now".

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Despite the increasingly hostile US-North Korean relationship, the Warmbiers said they were encouraged by US President Donald Trump's willingness to improve relations with North Korea.

He probably hopes things will go more smoothly on his latest visit to North Korea, which started Tuesday.

The flight carrying the 56-year-old left Beijing International Airport at 1 pm (0500 GMT) for Pyongyang, after the eccentric ex-Chicago Bulls power forward had caused a stir with a crowd of journalists pursuing him through the departures hall. The event soon became overshadowed by politics after Rodman suffered an angry meltdown on CNN before the game when asked whether during the trip he would raise the issue of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary who was detained in North Korea at the time on charges of "anti-state crimes".

Rodman still went through with a plan to take a group of retired National Basketball Association players to North Korea for an exhibition game, which he called a "birthday present" for his "best friend" Kim.

Warmbier also said he had been encouraged by the university's "Z Society", which he said he was trying to join. He said that over the past 18 months, Warmbier's family has "had to endure more than any family should have to bear".

North Korea regularly accuses Washington and Seoul of sending spies to overthrow its government to enable the US -backed South Korean government to take control of the Korean Peninsula. He said Warmbier's sentence was "unnecessary and appalling".

The finding came four days after North Korea tested new anti-ship missiles in a continuation of weapons launches that have complicated new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's push to improve ties frayed over the North's nuclear ambitions.

Two other Americans remain incarcerated in North Korea: Tony Kim, a teacher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, and Kim Dong Chul, an American businessman.

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