Amid diplomatic contact, North Korea frees American student

Currently, a total of six South Koreans are detained in North Korea, including several religious missionaries accused of treason or espionage.

That does not mean that there is no role for Mr. Rodman to play in helping to improve communications between his friend Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

In the 1990s he visited at President Clinton's request to secure the release of the pilot of a US helicopter downed after unintentionally straying across the DMZ during a routine training mission (a second pilot was killed); and to bring home an American man accused of espionage after swimming across a river on the North Korea-China border.

Otto Warmbier, an American university student held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and said by his family to be in a coma, was medically evacuated to the U.S. on Tuesday as his local church continues to pray for him.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo). Alison Lebrun helps tie blue-and-white awareness ribbons along Springfield Pike near the family home of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016.

That was used as evidence in his hour-long trial, during which North Korea accused him of committing "hostile acts" against the regime at the urging of a purported member of a church in his home state of OH, a secretive university organization and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Tillerson says the State Department continues discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea.

NORTH KOREA has released a 22-year-old college student arrested for alleged acts against the tyrannical regime - and he's in a coma. Nauert said the last consular visit to Warmbier, by Swedish diplomats, was March 2. Swedish diplomats, who represent US interests in Pyongyang, were able to check in on Warmbier recently and reported that the young American was in a coma after being stricken with what appeared to be a case of botulism.

Otto Warmbier speaks at a news conference in North Korea, in 2016. President Trump then promptly put into motion the process enabling Warmbier's safe return to his family in Ohio.

He informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who consulted with Trump, the officials said.


"Our son is coming home", his father Fred told the Washington Post last night. Rodman, in an interview with CNN before landing in North Korea, said he was "trying to accomplish something we both need", referring to himself and the Trump administration.

Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman happened to arrive in North Korea for his fifth trip to the rogue state the same day Warmbier left.

Why is Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang?

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary that the two Koreas experienced "a precious era of reconciliation and unity" in that period. It's safe to say it stands up half-a-decade later.

"I'm just here to see some friends and have a good time", he said. "But luckily he is back, and I believe he will make a full recovery". According to the New York Times, American officials suspect that Warmbier's condition could be the result of brutality he may have suffered at the hands of prison guards, given that the North Korean regime has a history of mistreating prisoners.

"Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016", Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. "I've not spoken with Dennis Rodman". At least three other American citizens remain jailed in North Korea. "We are in discussions with them about entities inside of China". He was released Tuesday, more than 17 months after being detained.

There was no immediate confirmation from US officials of North Korea's description of his illness. His release brings the number of US citizens known to be in detention in the hermetic communist dictatorship down to three. On Monday, Trump was pilloried by the media as he presided over a Cabinet meeting that ended with each of his lieutenants sitting around the table taking turns to praise and thank the president.

Asked whether he was working on the release of detained Americans, he said, "that is not my goal right now".

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