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Pyongyang releases USA student as Rodman kicks off non-official visit

26 June 2017

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

An American college student imprisoned by North Korea and in a coma for more than a year was freed Tuesday and arrived last night in his home state of Ohio.

"We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime" in North Korea, Warmbier's parents said.

"Even though they're saddened by his condition, they're just glad for the family that he is home", McCauley said.

Asked whether the USA wanted to see an Iran-style global embargo to deny exports of petroleum and other products to North Korea, Mr Tillerson said that this would only work if Russian Federation and China co-operated.

Warmbier was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman says North Korea should be "universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior".

A student at the University of Virginia, he had flown to North Korea that January as a tourist.

The person, said to Mr Warmbier, was carried from the plane and did not appear to be moving independently. A plane carrying Warmbier arrived late Tuesday at an airport in Cincinnati.

The Warmbier family said North Korean officials told the US envoys that soon after his trial in March 2016, their son reportedly became sick with botulism, an illness caused by a toxin, and fell into a coma after being given a sleeping pill, according to the Post.

Here's his latest foray into North Korean diplomacy.

Mr Warmbier's release came as former United States basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, returning to the nuclear-armed country where he met leader Kim Jong-un on previous visits.

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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been one of the United States' most unlikely links to North Korea, traveling repeatedly to the authoritarian state and gaining rare access to its leadership. Worldwide negotiations on the dispute over North Korea's nuclear program have been in limbo for years, as the USA cranks up economic sanctions and North Korea won't give up weapons it considers a guarantee against invasion.

It is the first time that the US administration has confirmed the dispatch of a ranking official to North Korea since President Donald Trump took office in January. At the meeting, North Korea agreed that Swedish diplomats could visit all four American detainees.

In November 2014, US spy chief James Clapper went to Pyongyang to bring home Matthew Miller, who had ripped up his visa when entering the country and was serving a six-year sentence on an espionage charge, and Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who had been sentenced to 15 years for alleged anti-government activities.

"Mr. Warmbier is en route to the United States, where he will be reunited with his family".

City councilwoman Jenni McCauley said the tight-knit community was "thrilled" to have Warmbier back.

North Korea announced Warmbier's arrest in late January 2016, saying he committed an anti-state crime with "the tacit connivance of the US government and under its manipulation".

The incident comes at a time of grave tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the Kim Jong-un regime signaling plans to top a series of missile launches with the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) - and threatening nuclear retaliation for what it says is USA aggression.

That sense of relief is shared throughout this nation, which also wonders how long North Korea will be permitted to continue its nuclear designs and to foment unsafe global threats.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that North Korea has released Otto Warmbier, an American serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

Warmbier was supposed to graduate from the University of Virginia in May.

Three U.S. nationals are still being held in the DPRK following Warmbier's release.

Pyongyang releases USA student as Rodman kicks off non-official visit