North Korea releases United States citizen Otto Warmbier

At 10:42 p.m., the ambulances drove away.

However, before his arrival in Pyongyang, Rodman told reporters that pleading to free detained Americans is not the objective of his visit right now. Rodman, who has previously described North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as his "friend for life", told CNN shortly before landing in North Korea that he hoped to achieve "something pretty positive" during the visit. But accounts of former prisoners have shed some light on the harsh conditions he and other detainees might have endured.

Quickly, that elation turned to dread as details emerged and Simons learned of the coma.

She was feeling "sick to my stomach for them", she said, thinking of how their son should have been graduating from college this spring. She struggled Tuesday night to find the words.

"While the entire University of Virginia community is relieved to learn of Otto's release from North Korea, we are deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma", university president Teresa Sullivan said in a statement.

The announcement came shortly after former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman arrived in Pyongyang for a return visit to North Korea.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said Rodman would stay until Saturday. He said Warmbier, of Cincinnati, was en route to the U.S.

But Nauert is firm in stating "Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with the release of Mr. Warmbier". "I'm not going to characterize what their son has been through".

The US is considering sanctions on countries that do illegal business with North Korea, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned. Obviously it's weird that he would contract it just after he was sentenced to fifteen years hard labour by the North Korean state, but there's not a whole lot else to go off right now.

My colleagues Anna Fifield and Karen DeYoung reported that there was no coordination between Rodman and the White House: "Officials involved in securing Warmbier's release told The Post that it had nothing to do with Rodman's trip to Pyongyang, calling it a "bizarre coincidence" that might have been a deliberate ploy from North Korea to distract from Warmbier's condition".

"This is a matter of grave concern", Richardson said.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, called Warmbier's arrest and trial "unnecessary and appalling", while lawmakers from Virginia also denounced North Korea's actions.

Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy, confirmed their son was on a medevac flight, which was due to arrive on Tuesday evening.

The Trump administration has sought to increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile activities.

"I want my kid home".

"Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", the parents said in a statement.

The North Korean account, the family said, claimed that Warmbier then fell into a coma after being given a sleeping pill.

Otto Warmbier begged for forgiveness in this apology from February.

Mr Tillerson said the Department of State was continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens imprisoned there. On this trip, he has already been roundly criticized by some for visiting during a time of high tensions between the USA and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

Warmbier was a University of Virginia undergraduate when he chose to go to North Korea with a tour group. According to the Times, Kim most recently lived in North Korea with his wife, who may still be in the country.

A Cincinnati man was released from a North Korean prison Tuesday after being incarcerated for more than 15 months for what the Democratic People's Republic of Korea described as hostile acts against the regime.

Otto Warmbier, 22, is now on his way back to the U.S. where he will be reunited with his family, Tillerson said in a statement.



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