Veteran negotiator offers to go to North Korea to free Americans, Canadian

Otto Warmbier, the United States student released by North Korea this week after falling into a coma while in a labor camp, has suffered "severe neurological injury", a hospital spokesman said June 15, 2017.The 22-year-old from Cincinnati spent more than a year in detention after being arrested for stealing a political poster from a hotel.

Warmbier, 22, is in stable condition at the UC Medical Center, where he was taken after his arrival in OH late Tuesday after more than 17 months in North Korean captivity.

Although the North Koreans say Otto became comatose immediately after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing some propaganda signs from a hotel, his family was only notified of his condition last week.

Doctors said they can't speculate on what happened to Warmbier in North Korea, but that he likely suffered a respiratory arrest at some point in time, which could be the result of several causes.

Unlike in a coma, patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome are technically awake and can show small signs of eye movement, such as blinking, even if they don't display conscious awareness or reaction to their surroundings like in Warmbier's case.

Speaking a news conference, Warmbier's father said North Korea had "brutalised and terrorised" the student and accused it of making false promises that tourists would not be detained.

He returned to the U.S.in state of coma after being detained in North Korea for over 17 months.

The North Korean government said botulism is to blame for Warmbier's condition, but doctors haven't found any evidence of the illness in the now 22-year-old.

He was sentenced to 15 years in a labour camp after a one-hour trial in March 2016.

Warmbier, an American student, was imprisoned in North Korea and was apparently abused and beaten.

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Rodman is one of few Americans to have met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and has visited the country four times since 2013. One reporter followed up on this point, asking if the past administration could have done more to secure Otto's release.

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Fred Warmbier said he's relieved his son is home with those who love him, but angry he was so brutally treated for so long. He called on the country to release three other Americans held there.

Also, Kanter said the type and pattern of damage they see on the latest MRI scan is not what they normally see in patients with traumatic brain injuries.

"So Otto's a young thrill-seeking great kid who was going to be in that part of the world for a college experience and said 'Hey, I've had some friends who have done this, I'd like to do this.' So we agreed to let him do that". "We learned of this only one week ago", Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement to CNN.

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Since then, neither he nor the North Korean regime had offered any details of the visit.

Rodman refused to comment to reporters on whether he influenced the country to release Warmbier during his visit.

'At no stage did I ever think he was anything but a very, very polite kid'.

"If there are humanitarian efforts that are being conducted, that's fine", he says.

A supporter of Mr Trump, Rodman appeared on the US Celebrity Apprentice, and earlier this week said he thought the President would be pretty happy about his visit.

Rodman has described past trips to North Korea as "basketball diplomacy".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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