North Korea releases United States citizen Otto Warmbier

Visitors and medical personnel enter a transport plane carrying Otto Warmbier a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016 before he is transferred to an ambulan
North Korea releases United States citizen Otto Warmbier
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19 June, 2017

"We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalised and terrorised by the pariah regime", his parents, Fred and Cindy, said.

North Korea says he has been in a coma for more than a year, after taking a sleeping pill while fighting food poisoning.

Tillerson said the State Department secured his release at Trump's direction, and a spokeswoman was firm in saying Rodman's trip had nothing to do with Warmbier's release.

However, CNN also reports that another senior official from the State Department said the USA hadn't confirmed "the North Korean version of events" as of Tuesday evening and were still waiting on medical confirmation for the exact cause of Warmbier's coma.

Three other American citizens are being detained in North Korea, at a time when Kim Jong Un has been firing missiles and threatening to strike the United States.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr and Mrs Warmbier said: "Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March 2016". Warmbier's parents said they learned of their son's condition "only one week ago".

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".

Rodman met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on previous trips to Pyongyang.

The two American teachers were arrested last month for allegedly carrying out hostile activities against Pyongyang.

A small group of family friends was nearby to celebrate Warmbier's arrival, cheering and holding signs that read "Pray for Otto" and 'Welcome home Otto'.

Saudi Arabia's oil exports seen below 7 mln bpd in summer
Gasoline inventories now sit at 242.4 million bbl, or 9%, above the five-year average of 223 million bbl, according to EIA data. Crude prices have fall by more than 10 percent since late May, pulled down by a supply glut that persists.

North Korea has been hailed by marijuana news outlets and British tabloids as a pothead paradise and maybe even the next Amsterdam of pot tourism.

The announcement came amid tension between Washington and Pyongyang following a series of missile tests by the North, focusing attention on an arms buildup that Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on Monday dubbed "a clear and present danger to all".

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far.

"We strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea", Nauert said. He also appears to have prompted recent speculation that he might become Mr. Trump's ambassador to North Korea if diplomatic relations are ever established.

SEOUL - The national football federation is likely to sack beleaguered men's head coach Uli Stielike this week in light of the team's shocking loss to Qatar, its senior official said Wednesday. FILE - In this December 20, 2013, file photo, former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, watches from courtside during a practice session for North Korean basketball players in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Annabella Vagonis, a family friend from Reston, Virginia, whose daughter was close with Warmbier at U-Va., said, "We were at turns incredulous, shocked, surprised, joyful and sad, all kind of emotions within a nanosecond of each other when we got the news this morning".

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. Otto Warmbier, 22, had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, after he was accused of attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel where he had stayed as a tourist.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, confirmed the release but did not comment on Warmbier's health. "North Korea is persecuting their savior, a person who came to help them".

North Korea accuses Washington and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its government. It is imperative that the State Department continue its efforts to secure their release.


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