Sunday, 24 June, 2018

North Korea says it released U.S. student 'on humanitarian grounds'

Otto Warmbier REUTERS 'BRUTALISED: Otto's dad has hit out at North Korea
Ellis Copeland | 29 June, 2017, 19:19

It's been too long for Warmbier to be considered in a coma, doctors said.

A White House spokeswoman says Warmbier's release "was a big priority" for President Donald Trump. Kanter said they have very little information about Otto's care in North Korea, except they did get access to images of Otto's brain from April 2016. He was given a sleeping pill, they say, and he never woke up.

Asked by a reporter if he felt the Obama administration should have done more to help, Warmbier replied, "I think the results speak for themselves".

Rodman arrived in Pyongyang the same day news broke that Otto Warmbier, an American who spent more than 17 months detained in North Korea, was released.

"Unresponsive wakefulness" is a term coined in the past decade to refer to what doctors once called a persistent vegetative state.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert (NOW'-ert) says the US hopes the other Americans will be able to return home soon.

North Korea claims that Warmbier developed botulism. He was also in a coma for over a year and the United States just found out about his condition last week.

"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 most important diagnostic test conducted, doctors said, showed that Otto had extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain.

They said his prognosis remains confidential.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refused to provide details, though one official told The Post that the release had nothing to do with the latest weird excursion to Pyongyang by former National Basketball Association player (and Trump reality-show contestant) Dennis Rodman.

Warmbier was also highly critical of extreme-tourism operations like the one his son patronized, Young Pioneer Tours.

On Monday, Yun and two physicians medically evacuated Warmbier.

"We have no certifiable knowledge of the cause or circumstances of his neurological injuries", Kanter said. Doctors planned an update later Thursday.

Mr Warmbier's family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that he fell ill from botulism some time after his March 2016 trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported. "They have our thanks for bringing Otto home", he said. Three other USA citizens are being held by the regime, including two who were teaching at a private school and one who worked in a special economic zone. The news conference will be aired live on this website.

His father, Fred Warmbier, said his son had been "brutalized and terrorized" by Kim Jong Un's regime.

This is the Otto I know and love.

The father of an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and was returned to his home state of OH in a coma says the family is "adjusting to a different reality".

Fred Warmbier, the father, told media he did not buy the story.

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