North Korea Releases Comatose U.S. Student
The North Korean government has released Otto Warmbier, an American college student who has been in jail for more than 17 months.
The news of Otto’s release has been confirmed by his parents who said, "He is being medevacked to the US. The brutalization and terrorism the North Koreans have put upon Otto and the Warmbier family have ended. Thank God."
The U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson also confirmed the news of Otto’s release in a statement and he disclosed that the University of Virginia student was on his way back to the U.S. Rex Tillerson also revealed that the State Department was ordered to secure his release by President Donald Trump.
Otto Warmbier’s parents revealed that their son has been unconscious for over a year after suffering botulism not long after his last appearance in court in March 2016. The 22-year-old was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for attempting to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.
"Our son is coming home," Fred Warmbier (Otto’s father) is quoted as saying. "At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident. We get to see our son Otto tonight."
Otto, a graduate of Economics from the University of Virginia was arrested at the airport on his way back home after he had visited the Asian country as a tourist. The arrest was made in January 2016.
Reacting to Otto Warmbier’s detention, US Sen. Rob Portman, who represents Warmbier's home state of Ohio said, "Otto's detainment and sentence was unnecessary and appalling, and North Korea should be universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior. Otto should have been released from the start. Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal. Over the last 18 months, they have had to endure more than any family should have to bear."
62-year-old Kim Dong-chul, a Korean-American missionary; Korean-American professor Kim Sang-duk (or Tony Kim); and Kim Hak-song, who worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) are the other three Americans currently being detained in North Korea.
The news of Otto Warmbier’s release comes few hours after the arrival of basketball star Dennis Rodman in the Kim Jong-un- led country.
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