Otto Warmbier, college student freed by North Korea, is in coma

Instead, the administration credited the release to its diplomatic intervention.

The administration sent its special envoy last month to meet with a DPRK representative in Norway. The North Koreans agreed to allow consular visits to four Americans held in the North. That would be grounds in North Korea for a subversion charge.

State Department officials were unable to confirm this. One month later, he was sentenced to prison. In April, an Egyptian court acquitted Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker held for almost three years, after Trump raised her case with the Egyptian president. At the end of the hour-long-trial he was sentenced with 15 years of hard labor.

Warmbier was arrested in January 2016 for stealing a political propaganda sign from a hotel and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Tuesday the release of Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir), a University of Virginia student. Mr Warmbier is en route to the United States, where he will be reunited with his family.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old student from OH was released from prison, and is set to be home Tuesday night. "Otto should have been released from the start", said US Sen.

Warmbier's parents confirmed that he is in a coma on Tuesday.

"While the entire University of Virginia community is relieved to learn of Otto's release from North Korea, we are deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma", Sullivan said. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him". The official referred to them as "hostages".

Timeline of Otto Warmbier's saga in North Korea
His parents Fred and Cindy told CNN earlier this month that they had had no contact with their son for more than a year. Warmbier's parents said in a statement that "we have been told that he has been in that condition since March of 2016".

Warmbier was a University of Virginia student when he made a decision to go to North Korea with a tour group. Then Pyongyang asked for another meeting, which happened last week in NY.

Right now, the only information about Warmbier's condition is coming directly from his family.

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

Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release.

He says in a statement that the State Department secured Warmbier's release at the direction of President Donald Trump.

Warmbier's release coincided with a visit to the North by NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, but Nauert said that the two cases have nothing to do with each other. The Post reports that there's no way to determine if North Korea's explanation of events are true, nor is it clear how the country's doctors have cared for Warmbier for more than a year in his state.

Nearly immediately on taking office in January, Trump and his team - having been briefed by outgoing leader Barack Obama - declared the North's attempts to build, test and arm a nuclear-capable ballistic missile to be Washington's biggest threat.

Meanwhile, the White House said Moon and Trump will meet on June 29 and 30 to discuss ways of building on what America frequently calls its "ironclad" alliance with South Korea.

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