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Father of UVA Student Otto Warmbier Holds News Conference

20 Juin 2017

"We don't believe anything they (North Korea) say", said Fred Warmbier, who was wearing a sport coat Otto Warmbier had worn during a broadcast confession of his crimes past year in North Korea.

Otto Warmbier's father, Fred, said today that he does not believe North Korea's claim that his son's coma resulted from "botulism and a sleeping pill". Warmbier had visited North Korea as part of a tour organized by a China-based company. They have our thanks for bringing Otto home.

"We did what we could, we tried to stay low, we were advised that it was important that you don't upset the North Koreans", Warmbier said. Otto Warmbier was finally repatriated 17 months into his detention, after the U.S. State Department bargained for his freedom, under the direction of President Trump. "And no excuse for the way they've treated so many others", he said. He said the family is trying to keep him comfortable.

An airplane carrying OH native Otto Warmbier landed in Cincinnati late Tuesday night.

He also called his son's return bittersweet.

There has been wide speculation that Warmbier was mistreated during his time in North Korea.

"He has spontaneous eye opening and blinking; however he shows no signs of understanding language, responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surroundings", Kanter said.

The doctors said Warmbier's severe brain injury was most likely - given his young age - to have been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain. At the request of the family information regarding his prognosis, prospects for improvement, and future care and treatment will remain confidential, " he says.

Until 2010, Warmbier's condition was generally referred to as a vegetative state, but many doctors saw the term as pejorative, since it suggested that a patient was somehow similar to a vegetable. He was given a sleeping pill, they say, and he never woke up.

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The University of Virginia junior looked shell-shocked and downtrodden as he was dragged into court a year ago, where he tearfully begged for mercy.

Warmbier was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor in North Korea. He was then taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. However, according to a hospital spokeswoman Kelly Martin, the 22-year-old has suffered what they term a "severe neurological injury".

Doctors plan a news conference on campus later Thursday.

Three other US citizens are now in detention in North Korea, a regime that has long used foreigners as bargaining chips in negotiations with the West.

Warmbier's doctors held a press conference on Thursday that starkly contrasted North Korea's explanation of his condition.

In strong words, the father of an American college student who was detained in North Korea, slammed the country as a terroristic nation, but he had little to say about his son's condition.

He said Otto "is not in great shape right now" and that his family is "adjusting to a different reality".

Otto Warmbier was in coma when he was released Tuesday, and he was taken to the neuroscience intensive care unit at UCMC in Ohio. "He doesn't deserve this", Fred Warmbier told The Cincinnati Enquirer in an interview last month. He said he and his wife, Cindy, only learned of their son's condition last week. Warmbier is from Cincinnati, but was attending the University of Virginia when he was detained in North Korea in January of 2016.

Father of UVA Student Otto Warmbier Holds News Conference