Pyongyang releases USA student as Rodman kicks off non-official visit
- Author: Jon Douglas Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 0:05
US and North Korean officials were quick to point out that Rodman had nothing to do with Tuesday's release of imprisoned American student Otto Warmbier.
"Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea", the father said in an interview scheduled to air Thursday night. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner. The North Korean government, on the other hand, says that the poster was stolen "pursuant to the USA government's hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".
But he noted that the State Department is continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens who are jailed there. According to the New York Times, American officials suspect that Warmbier's condition could be the result of brutality he may have suffered at the hands of prison guards, given that the North Korean regime has a history of mistreating prisoners. Two ambulances met the plane on the runway to transfer Otto to the hospital. His parents later told the Washington Post that their son was being transported on a USA military plane in a coma.
"Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", the parents said in a statement. Otto grew up here and we know him as an intelligent, personable, and wonderful young man.
The news surfaced after the flamboyant retired NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman - a former contestant on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" reality show - flew to Pyongyang to resume his quixotic quest to broker detente between his USA homeland and Kim Jong-Un's authoritarian regime.
An American student who was serving a 15-year prison term in North Korea has been released and is on his way home to the United States, according to the State Department.
Authorities are believed to have arrested Kim Hak Song, who had been in North Korea for several weeks working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), on May 6 this year as he was about to leave the country.
North Korea has released Cincinnati native Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old college student who had been detained and imprisoned in that reclusive dictatorship for more than a year.
Prince Marketing Group, which represents Rodman, did not comment on any PotCoin sponsorship in a statement regarding Rodman's trip to North Korea.
His parents told CNN in early May that they had had no contact with their son for more than a year.
Warmbier was not seen in public after his March 2016 sentencing. "We'll be relieved to have him home and are looking forward to surrounding him with people who love him". The North Korean government reportedly arranged a limited press conference that was covered by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency and China's state-run Xinhua. North Korea is not to be trusted, either in what it says or what it does.
She also reiterated the State Department's travel advice against going to North Korea, with which the United States has no diplomatic relations.
Warmbier was supposed to graduate from the University of Virginia in May.
Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release.
Rodman, who is known as much for his piercings, ever-changing hair colors and off-court antics as his basketball skills, has developed an unlikely relationship with the North Korean leader since making his first trip there in 2013.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman says North Korea should be "universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior". "No one", Fred Warmbier said. It is imperative that the State Department continue its efforts to secure their release.