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'Truly terrible thing' happened to American released by North Korea

17 Juin 2017

ANN THOMPSON, BYLINE: After a battery of tests, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center say Otto Warmbier is in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, meaning he shows no signs of understanding his surroundings, and he has not spoken.

FILE - In this February 20, 2016, file photo, North Korean children attend a ski class at the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan, North Korea.

Otto Warmbier is suffering from extensive brain damage, a doctor said. "I just said kind of quite nervously, 'Well, that's the last we'll see of you.' There's a great irony in those words". Both men worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and were accused of "hostile acts".

Two months later, he was in a courtroom, wearing a cream-colored jacket and looking distraught as he gave a televised statement.

Kanter said there is no way to tell for certain how Warmbier sustained his injuries.

"I'm able to wear the jacket he wore when he gave his confession", the anguished father said, his voice cracking.

"I got to know Otto really, really well". "I'm proud of Otto, and the courage he showed by going to North Korea and having that adventurous side to him", he said. But the family has dismissed that explanation.

"I have proposed that as of today", Richardson said, adding that he argued in the letter it was in North Korea's interest to free the detainees unconditionally, "in the light of its failure to properly take care and handle" Warmbier's case. Every Sunday, the local churches have prayed for his safe return.

The power forward said he was trying to accomplish something that "we both need", prompting repeated denials from U.S. officials that he was on an authorised mission.

In Wyoming, a northern Cincinnati suburb of about 8,000 people, Warmbier's return to the United States was marked by blue and white ribbons, representing the colours of the local high school, tied around trees and telephone polls.

Sadly, Trump has preferred to tweet contradictory nonsense about "Witch Hunts" and the "Fake News Media" than to highlight that an American civilian was likely tortured and erroneously imprisoned by the most oppressive dictatorship on the planet under Obama's watch, and that Trump arranged for an evacuation.

Price said Thursday the Obama administration's efforts secured the release of at least 10 other Americans from North Korea.

Kanter said Dr. Jordan Bonomo and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center transport team met Warmbier when he arrived in Cincinnati Tuesday, and Warmbier was transported to the neuroscience intensive care unit.

But the video, released Thursday by Otto Warmbier's brother Austin Warmbier, has become incredibly important to his family.

Three other Americans remain in North Korean jails. But the Warmbiers learned of their son's grave medical condition only last week.

At no point did Warmbier demand that Obama administration offer North Korea a "ransom" for his son, nor is there any evidence that any ransom was given to the authoritarian regime by the Trump administration to secure Otto Watmbier's release.

"The results speak for themselves", he said in a news conference, adding that President Trump, by contrast, reached out to him personally.

Fred Warmbier expressed gratitude for the United States administration's efforts in his son's favor, and said he spoke personally with Trump late Wednesday.

"North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them has increased in pace and scope", Mr Mattis said. The release of all four prisoners will remove a hurdle to talks, he said.

Over the next five days, and after consulting Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson instructed Yun to travel to North Korea to negotiate Warmbier's release.

When a medical transport plane brought 22-year-old Otto Warmbier home from North Korea this week, a Reuters photographer stood on the corner of a dark tarmac behind a chain link fence - more than 300 yards away from the action.

'Truly terrible thing' happened to American released by North Korea