Korean Prisoner Warmbier's Freedom Bittersweet For UVA
15 June, 2017, 01:33 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
Warmbierarrived in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Tuesday night and was transported by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. "Over the last 18 months, they have had to endure more than any family should have to bear".
Whatever happens with diplomatic relations between the U.S. and North Korea, one thing's for sure: Dennis Rodman helped put PotCoin on the map. A June 6 meeting led a week later to Warmbier's sudden release Tuesday after 17 months of captivity. The last instruction the president left Tillerson was: "Take care of Otto", the official said.
Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy, said they had learnt only a week ago that their son was in a coma and had been in that condition since March 2016.
"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.
Not until Tuesday was he finally flown home to Cincinnati, gravely ill and reportedly in a coma.
Regardless of what happened surrounding the poster, American officials state that it was wrong for the North Korean government to hold Warmbier.
State Department officials are accompanying Warmbier from Sapporo to Cincinnati.
Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties".
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. The subject of allowing Swedish officials to visit American prisoners was discussed at length.
There are still three other USA citizens under the custody of the North Korean military.
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A second senior State Department official said the USA has not yet accepted the North Korean version of events in terms of the timing and cause of how Warmbier fell into a coma. Warmbier also stated that he had been told that if he was detained, a donation of $20,000 would be made to his mother.
Yun arrived in Pyongyang early Monday with two American physicians.
Tillerson announced that the Department of State had secured Warmbier's release at the direction of the Republican president.
Warmbier's release came during a visit to North Korea by former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman, one of few people to have met both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, who was Rodman's boss on "Celebrity Apprentice".
Rodman's current trip is his first since Trump, his former "Celebrity Apprentice" boss, became president. "Overall, it might have been meant to spur diplomacy, but I don't know if that will be the case because of his poor condition". We can't sanction the travel of North Korean officials because they never go anywhere.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., meanwhile, said he was "heartened to see the reuniting of the Warmbier family, despite the tragic circumstances". Asked later at a Senate committee hearing about Mr. Warmbier's health, he declined to comment. Rodman had said he did not plan to raise the fate of the Americans while he was in North Korea.
In the past, North Korea has held out until senior USA officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees, all the way up to former President Bill Clinton, whose visit in 2009 secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.
It was after the Swedish consular visit - confirming Warmbier's condition - that North Korea urgently requested to meet with Yun in NY last week. "That's outrageous that they didn't notify the US and that the Swedes have not been given access to him".
There is no way of knowing yet whether the North Korean version of events is true, but the Warmbiers have been told their son had been in a coma the whole time.
"I have mixed reactions about Rodman's visit", Mr. Richardson said. He was also dubious of their explanation about his condition.
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