USA student freed by N. Korea has 'severe neurological injury'

North Korea Officials Say Otto Warmbier Was Released for Humanitarian Reasons

North Korea Officials Say Otto Warmbier Was Released for Humanitarian Reasons

"I'm proud of Otto and the courage he showed by going to North Korea and having that adventurous side to him". The controversy has flared up an already tense situation between the two countries.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student, who is now in a coma, was freed for humanitarian reasons, according to a one-line report from a North Korean news agency Thursday.

Warmbier was on a tour of North Korea early past year when he allegedly tried to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel and was charged with hostile acts against the state.

Doctors have little information about what happened to him prior to his release as they've had no contact with North Korean medical authorities. He was charged with stealing the sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang and committing "crimes against the state". Others want to know why he was in North Korea in the first place.

In the few days since the 22-year old has been back in the USA his parents have been at his bedside. The doctor said Warmbier has "spontaneous eye opening and blinking" and is not able to understand verbal cues. "With increased tensions in North Korea, the danger that Americans will be detained for political reasons is greater than ever", he said in a statement on May 25.

Otto Warmbier, 22, is from Cincinnati, Ohio and was born to Fred and Cindy Warmbier on December 12, 1994.

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Otto Warmbier was in coma when he was released Tuesday, and he was taken to the neuroscience intensive care unit at UCMC in Ohio.

Upon arrival from North Korea, Warmbier was "well-nourished" and his skin was in "good condition", according to the doctors. The first video of Warmbier's return to the US has since come out, showing him being carried out of an aircraft in Cincinnati by two men. He accused the North Korean government of luring Americans with adventurous spirits - such as his son - into the country using Chinese travel agencies who assure safe travel.

Warmbier confirmed several reports in the conference, including that no one had seen or heard from Otto since March 2016 and that former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman, who traveled to North Korea at the same time of Otto's release, was not involved in Otto's release. As a result, Yun met with North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in New York City. It was only a week ago that we were informed that the North Korean government now claims he was in a coma for nearly all of that time. Warmbier has been around his family continuously since his return to the US.

Otto Warmbier, 22, has been in "a state of unresponsive wakefulness" since arriving at an OH hospital after what North Korean officials said was more than a year in a coma, doctor Daniel Kanter said.

The doctors said Warmbier's severe brain injury was most likely - given his young age - to have been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain. "No other family should have to endure what the Warmbiers have". "Otto, I love you so much, I'm insane about you and I'm so glad you're home".

Asked later if he believes the past administration could have done more, Fred Warmbier replied, "I think the results speak for themselves". Otto's release was secured via the State Department and the efforts of the Trump administration, he said.

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He said he received "a very nice phone call" Wednesday evening from President Donald Trump, who said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson worked hard to bring Otto home and asked how the family was doing. Doctors say he has severe injury to all regions of his brain.

It's not immediately clear what kind of restriction the administration is considering, but Tillerson has authority under federal law to limit USA passport holders from traveling "where there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travellers".

The tragic news of Warmbier's condition comes as tension between the USA and North Korea is at a high point.

He said that he had spoken to President Trump last night, describing the call as gracious.

Pyongyang has vowed to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

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