Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

American student returns from North Korea with 'severe neurological injury'

American student returns from North Korea with 'severe neurological injury'

Otto Warmbier's medical team will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss his medical condition, Martin said. Doctors planned an update later Thursday.

While the North Korean authorities say the coma was caused by botulism and sleeping pills, Fred Warmbier does not believe it. He said Trump was very kind and concerned about his son.

"I knelt down by his side and I hugged him and I told him I missed him and I was so glad that he made it home", Fred Warmbier said.

Warmbier was taken into custody in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March last year. He was last seen publicly that March, when he was sentenced for subversion to 15 years in prison with hard labor. "When Otto was first taken", he stated, "we were advised by the past administration to take a low profile while they worked to obtain his release". In recent months, North Korea has been regularly testing ballistic missiles, including many new systems, with promises of an eventual intercontinental ballistic missile test in the near future.

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Otto Warmbier, 22, returned to OH on Tuesday after being detained and imprisoned for 18 months in North Korea.

In a separate statement, Otto Warmbier's doctors described his condition.

As for whether former President Barack Obama's administration could have done more to bring Otto home, the father said he thought "the results speak for themselves".

His father, Fred Warmbier, says at his own news conference Thursday morning he does not believe North Korea's explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

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"They're brutal. There's no sense to anything here", he said in the interview, which airs Thursday at 8 p.m. Fred Warmbier said Trump called him Wednesday night to learn more about his son and give his best wishes. "This is a rogue, pariah regime". 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 colors of the local high school, tied around trees and telephone polls. North Korea released Otto on Tuesday, purportedly for "humanitarian reasons".

Fred Warmbier added: "To be honest with you, I had avoided conversations with [Trump]".

Rodman's visit comes at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korea said Thursday it released Warmbier over "humanitarian" reasons, its first official comment since he was returned to his home state of OH in a coma.

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Warmbier's release came after a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts between Washington and Pyongyang, which culminated in Joseph Yun, the State Department's special envoy on North Korea, travelling to Pyongyang to secure Warmbier's release.

On that day, the North released American student Otto Warmbier who had been held for 17 months and was said by his parents to be in a coma.

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