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S. Korea welcomes N. Korea's release of USA detainee

22 Juin 2017

"Otto has left North Korea".

University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier visited North Korea over New Year's in 2015 as a tourist, and on Tuesday the 22-year-old returned home to the US -in a coma.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has declined to provide details on the circumstance of Warmbier's release or comment on his health condition.

Parents in Wyoming say this global incident has them warning their kids about the world around them. PotCoin stock soared almost 100 percent after news and photos of Rodman were published upon his arrival in North Korea.

She tells reporters, "we are grateful and thankful" for Warmbier's release, but says it is "too soon" to talk about dialogue between the USA and North Korea.

There was some speculation that he might plead the case for the American detainees, but en route to North Korea he told reporters "my goal is to actually see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea".

Tillerson informed President Trump of Warmbier's condition and helped organize a medical team to travel with Yun to North Korea. His family says he is in a coma.

Following the May meeting in Oslo, North Korea urgently requested another meeting, which took place last week between the US envoy on North Korea, Joseph Yun, and the North's ambassador at the U.N.in NY. Thousands of US troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. At the same time, his trips have also faced ridicule and criticism from some US politicians and activists who view them as fodder for North Korean propaganda.

"Joe Yun went to Pyongyang (Monday) to accompany Mr. Warmbier", Shannon told reporters after a meeting with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung Nam. He was evacuated on Tuesday.

But Fifield says another motivation may have driven the North Koreans. Only this month did USA officials learn that Warmbier was in a coma.

The U.S. State Department, however, said the two events were unrelated.

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USA officials refused to comment on Warmbier's condition, but former ambassador and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said he had spoken with the family.

Americans are regarded as enemies in North Korea because the two countries never signed a peace treaty at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Secretary of State Tillerson said the State Department is continuing to discuss three other detained Americans with North Korea. He was serving a 15-year service for pinching a poster while on a student trip to North Korea.

Here is the timeline of Warmbier's ordeal.

North Korea's first private university, PUST was founded and remains operated by actors outside the country, mostly Evangelical Christian organizations. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country's "despicable actions ... must be condemned".

Denise Koesterman ties 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, in the Wyoming suburb of Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

The plane carrying Otto Warmbier has landed in Cincinnati, Ohio, local media reported later the same day.

They said they were told he has been in a coma since his trial, when he was last seen in public, and they had learned of this only one week ago.

"At the moment, we're just treating this like he's been in an accident", he said.

They also said they are grateful he "will finally be with people who love him". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was then alerted. "Everybody feels a sense of relief that he is coming back to the United States", said Amy Mayer.

His release came after Joseph Yun, the US State Department's special envoy on North Korea, travelled to Pyongyang and demanded Warmbier's release on "humanitarian grounds", capping a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts, a US official said.

S. Korea welcomes N. Korea's release of USA detainee