Why Is Dennis Rodman in North Korea (Again)?

His current visit has already been roundly criticized by some for its timing, during high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

American college student Otto Warmbier has been released after more than 17 months in detention in North Korea but has been in a coma for over a year, according to his parents.

Warmbier was found guilty and sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years hard labor.

"Sharon emphasized that her church does not support the government of North Korea". We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea.

A White House official said Trump had instructed Tillerson to take all appropriate measures to secure the release of Americans held in North Korea.

The U.S. government condemned the sentence and accused North Korea of using such American detainees as political pawns.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said Warmbier was released and left the country Tuesday morning.

Seoul said last month that it will flexibly resume civilian inter-Korean exchanges to an extent that the move does not compromise the worldwide sanctions regime.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea's Supreme Court.

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.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement announcing Warmbier's evacuation from North Korea on Tuesday, noting that the U.S. State Department was continuing talks with North Korea on the remaining U.S. citizens being held in the country.

At a press conference before his trial, a sobbing Warmbier said he had made "the worst mistake of my life" and pleaded to be released. USA officials did not confirm those details. Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare as they do not have formal diplomatic relations. On the same trip, he suggested that an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized. But Rodman - nicknamed "The Worm" for his wild wriggling when playing pinball - told reporters before jetting off from Beijing airport on Tuesday that he is "just trying to open a door" between the two nations.

The U.S. apparently only learned of Warmbier's condition about a week ago after Swedish diplomats visited him.

Yun was instructed to prepare to travel to Pyongyang with the intention of bringing Warmbier back to the United States. He was sentenced in March after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties".

The North has occasionally jailed USA citizens and released them only after visits by high-profile political figures, including former president Bill Clinton. It is common for sections of tourist hotels to be reserved for North Korean staff and off-limits to foreigners.

Jeffrey Fowle, another USA tourist from OH detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a US government plane.

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