Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

A look at Americans detained in North Korea in recent years

Since the moment their son was sentenced to hard labor for stealing a propaganda poster. Officials from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which treated the student upon his return, labeled his condition as a "state of unresponsive wakefulness".

In a White House statement, President Donald Trump said, "A lot of bad things happened, but at least we got him home to be with his parents".

Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, was on a tour of North Korea early previous year when he allegedly tried to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel and was charged with hostile acts against the state.

Warmbier grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming.

The doctors said he had "extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of his brain", most likely caused by cardiopulmonary arrest that cut off the blood supply to his brain.

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North Korea said Warmbier went into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

Doctors had described Mr Warmbier's condition as a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and said he suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

Warmbier's family said they believed the student had found peace after being flown home. He called North Korea a "brutal regime".

Warmbier had planned to study in China in his third year of college and heard about Chinese travel companies offering trips to North Korea.

Kim Sang-duk, also known as Tony Kim, spent a month teaching accounting at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was detained at Pyongyang International Airport in April 2017 while trying to leave the country.

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Troy Collings, the North Korea managing director for Young Pioneer Tours in Beijing that organised Warmbier's trip, denied the accusations saying: "We seek to promote engagement between North Korea and foreign countries because we believe it can lead to a less tense future with less mutual distrust".

But North Korea has also consistently lobbied Washington for specific concessions that would need deep negotiations, something recent US administrations have been reluctant to pursue because of the North's weapons programs.

The US will send two strategic B-1 bombers to the Korean peninsula to take part in joint drills with the South Korean Air Force, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday. While almost all Americans who have been there have left without incident, visitors can be seized and face lengthy incarceration for what might seem like minor infractions. Both the US and South Korea - North's adversaries - have their citizens trapped in Pyongyang jails.

The Warmbier's were fighting for his release.

The three Americans now held in the North include Kim Hak Song and Kim Sang Dok, who both worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology before their detention earlier this year over unspecified crimes. North Korean state media reported that he was arrested for committing "hostile acts" against the government.

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On Tuesday, U.S. Sen.

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