China welcomes Rodman's visit to N. Korea

"It wasn't a situation where they asked", one official said of the US representatives.

The parents of Otto Warmbier, the United States student who is in a coma after being freed this week by North Korea, say he was "brutalised" by a "pariah regime". His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, said their son has been in a coma since March 2016. The DPRK foreign ministry spokesman has said they are under investigation by a relevant legislative organ for "criminal acts against the DPRK".

Details of what Rodman plans to do there on his current visit remain elusive. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was then alerted. It is unclear what the status of the other three American citizens held in North Korea is, but this process jump-started the expedited release of Warmbier.

"We get to see our son Otto tonight", Fred Warmbier said in an interview Tuesday morning after his son was evacuated. "This is wrong", David Lee, one of the men who said he studied with Kim, told CNN.

However, before his arrival in Pyongyang, Rodman told reporters that pleading to free detained Americans is not the goal of his visit right now.

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North Korea still has at least three Americans in illegal custody, no doubt enduring horrific conditions in violation of all norms of human decency. But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Rodman had nothing to do with Warmbier's release. The next month he gave a tearful public confession, and that March he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for a "hostile act" against the state.

"Otto's detainment and sentence was unnecessary and appalling, and North Korea should be universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior", said Republican Sen.

A US citizen who is being held in North Korea on charges of "hostile acts" against the Kim Jong Un regime may actually have faced different charges at the time of his arrest, according to an eyewitness. Swedish diplomats, who represent US interests in Pyongyang, were able to check in on Warmbier recently and reported that the young American was in a coma after being stricken with what appeared to be a case of botulism. "I can only feel for what the family is going through", he said, shaking his head.

How harsh is prison in North Korea? He identified the church as Friendship United Methodist Church.

Warmbier was arrested in Pyongyang in January 2016, while visiting the country on a group tour. Warmbier had been staying at the Yanggakdo International Hotel.

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Otto Warmbier was studying commerce and economics. He had also taught at the university. The magazine of the university's alumni association describes the Z Society as a "semi-secret ring society" founded in 1892 that conducts philanthropy, puts on honorary dinners and grants academic awards.

Warmbier hails from Cincinnati, and Ohio's two senators both welcomed his release, while condemning his captors. "Over the last 18 months, they have had to endure more than any family should have to bear", Portman said in a statement.

Global organizations condemned Warmbier's sentence, which they saw as unnecessary and lengthy.

Joseph Yun, the USA special envoy on North Korea, met with North Korean officials in Oslo, Norway, in May and reached an agreement for Swedish diplomats to visit Warmbier.

Former United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson, who has been trying to help secure Warmbier's release, said North Korea's health system is "very primitive", and the circumstances surrounding the student's condition are murky. Moon - a liberal who has historically worked for rapprochement, rather than confrontation, with the North - was critical of some aspects of US policy in the region ahead of his election.

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