North Korea releases American prisoner

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and his staff

For almost a year and a half, since the University of Virginia student was detained in North Korea after a tourist trip, they have been praying for his return.

Warmbier is in a coma and has been for over a year.

Otto Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia student from OH, arrived by an airplane in Cincinnati shortly late Tuesday night.

- Kim Hak Song, who was detained in early May to be investigated for committing unspecified hostile acts, North Korea has said. The United States does not have a diplomatic mission in North Korea.

This supposedly took place after his sentencing to hard labor two months after his arrest.

If it were, there might be pressure on President Trump to take action against Kim Jong-un's regime, he says.

"We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him", the parents told the Associated Press.

Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) was in a coma when he landed in Cincinnati late Tuesday.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea's Supreme Court in March 2016. His parents say the University of Virginia student had been on a tour of the reclusive country. Yun met North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations on June 6 and was told about Warmbier's condition, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The statement said the department would have no further comment on Warmbier, citing privacy concerns.

One of Warmbier's roommates at U-Va., Emmett Saulnier, said he got a call Tuesday morning from Fred Warmbier to inform him of the release.




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. The subject of allowing Swedish officials to visit American prisoners was discussed at length.

Asked if he would talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about several Americans detained there, he said "that's not my objective right now".

Trump, after speaking with Tillerson, directed that a plane carrying Yun and medical personnel be sent to Pyongyang, telling - not asking - the North Koreans that it was going to land and that Warmbier must be seen, a senior administration official said.

He informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who consulted with the president, the officials said.

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. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman made his fifth visit to the country, telling reporters before his arrival that he hoped to "open a door" between Kim and the rest of the world. Mr. Rodman appeared on Mr. Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2009 and traveled to North Korea in 2013.

Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Rodman had nothing to do with Warmbier's release.

The specifics of Mr. Warmbier's condition were not known. He was said to have lost consciousness after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill - an account that strains credulity. We can't sanction the travel of North Korean officials because they never go anywhere.

"With tensions as high as they are, we felt that we needed to talk about Otto and put a face on the person", Cindy Warmbier said.

American visitors have often been detained in North Korea on charges of anti-state and other unspecified crimes. "That's outrageous that they didn't notify the USA and that the Swedes have not been given access to him".

Americans have been sentenced to years in North Korean prisons for seemingly minor offenses and likely could not expect leniency if the country's drug laws were violated.

North Korea announced Warmbier's arrest in late January 2016, saying he committed an anti-state crime with "the tacit connivance of the USA government and under its manipulation".

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