Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

North Korea freed, sentenced to prison, American student

2013 Rodman Kim Jong Un is 'my friend' North Korea freed, sentenced to prison, American student
Kenny Thornton | 28 June, 2017, 16:44

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the release, and said Washington remains in talks with the isolated regime "regarding three other USA citizens reported detained".

Mr Warmbier's family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that their son fell ill from botulism some time after his March 2016 trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported.

Out of respect for the privacy of Mr. Warmbier and his family, we have no further comment on Mr. Warmbier.

Rodman said the issue of several Americans detained by North Korea is "not my objective right now", in remarks made in Beijing before the release of Warmbier was publicly disclosed.

Warmbier is escorted to his March 2016 trial in Pyongyang, North Korea, at which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labor. Warmbier is comatose, and has been for a year.

The court held that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the U.S. government's hostile policy toward [the North], in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

During his 18-month incarceration, the Warmbiers have only heard from Otto once - through a letter on March 2, 2016.

"For North Korea to imprison Otto with no notification or consular access for more than a year is the utmost example of its complete failure to recognize fundamental human rights and dignity".

America appeared to be on a collision course with China today after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that the USA was considering imposing sanctions on countries that do business with North Korea.

Certainly Mr. Trump is aware of Mr. Rodman's visit, but the former athlete's trip doesn't have official backing.

'No Cuts to Medicaid': Disabled Protesters Carried Away From McConnell's Office
They were arrested for "crowding, obstructing and incommoding" the hallway and forcibly removed from the building. The demonstrators were heard chanting , "Don't cut Medicaid , save our liberty".

The last time Rodman visited North Korea, he delighted the country's young ruler with a rendition of "Happy Birthday", suffered an angry meltdown on CNN while defending his trip, and spent time at a rehab facility.

The man was loaded into an ambulance bound for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where a hospital spokeswoman said he would receive treatment. "No one", Fred Warmbier said.

This morning came word suddenly that the United States had secured his release, but under apparently desperate circumstances.

Rodman, who endorsed presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign and appeared twice as a contestant on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" TV show, said his latest visit was merely created to visit old friends and to "have a good time".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that Warmbier had been freed.

Otto's parents, Fred and Cindy, told friends they had no idea how their son was, or if he was dead or alive. It agreed to let Swedish diplomats visit the prisoners, and with news of Warmbier's dire condition, Pyongyang urgently requested a meeting with a top US official at the United Nations last week. Though he has met both Trump and Kim Jong-un, so who bloody knows.

The U.S. relies on Sweden to represent its interests in North Korea, since the U.S. has no direct diplomatic relations with North Korea itself. Governments from around the world also looked down upon the North Korean court's decision.

Warmbier was flown first to an American military medical facility in Japan, then flown on to Cincinnati, near his family's home.

American Kenneth Bae credits Rodman's unconventional relationship with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un for helping pave the way for his November 2014 release from his own 15-year prison sentence there.

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