Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

US Student Hospitalized After Return From NKorea

US Student Hospitalized After Return From NKorea

"Please! I made the worst mistake of my life!"

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.

He informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who consulted with Trump, the officials said.

But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the visit "had nothing to do with the release". In this undated photo published on September 7, 2013, on the homepage of North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, talks with former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman during a dinner.

Our sympathies go out to Otto Warmbier and his family.

In 2014, Pyongyang released Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who had been arrested for hostile acts against the DPRK and was serving a 15-year hard labor sentence.

The news of Warmbier's release comes the same day as basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in Pyongyang for an expected four-night visit.

Jeffrey Fowle, another US tourist from OH detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a USA government plane.

America appeared to be on a collision course with China today after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that the U.S. was considering imposing sanctions on countries that do business with North Korea.

An airplane carrying Otto Warmbier, who is from OH, landed in Cincinnati late Tuesday night.

While the release of the US citizen might send a signal about eased tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, the DPRK Monday also expressed nostalgia for a period of relaxed relations with South Korea from 2000 to 2007, by marking the signing of the historic 2000 North-South Joint Declaration on inter-Korean relations.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo). Alison Lebrun helps tie blue-and-white awareness ribbons along Springfield Pike near the family home of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016.

"In no uncertain terms North Korea must explain the causes of his coma", Bill Richardson, a veteran former diplomat and politician who has played a role in past negotiations with North Korea, said in a statement after speaking to Warmbier's parents.

Warmbier's release came as former US basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, returning to the increasingly isolated nuclear-armed country where he has previously met leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says it believes a USA government official's recent visit to North Korea was purely a humanitarian act to secure the release of an American student.

Warmbier's release was facilitated by State Department Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun. Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been high since Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

Surrounded by North Korean guards, Warmbier delivered a highly scripted "confession" that appeared to have been written for him, and after an hour-long sham trial in March 2016, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

North Korea's first private university, PUST was founded and remains operated by actors outside the country, mostly Evangelical Christian organizations.

Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release.

The University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati who publicly confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner left North Korea on Tuesday morning, a foreign ministry official confirmed.

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