At least one of the U.S. citizens being detained in North Korea has finally been set free.
Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student from Cincinnati, Ohio, was detained on January 2, 2016 while visiting North Korea as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tours.
He was charged with stealing a political sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang. After being allowed a one-hour trial in March 2016, he was found “guilty” and sentenced to 15-years of hard labor for his crime.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the State Department has secured Warmbier’s release at the request of President Trump, and the student is now on his way back to the United States.
Tillerson said the State Department is still in discussions with North Korea regarding the other Americans who are also being held there.
Warmbier’s physical condition, however, is being questioned, as multiple news outlets are reporting that he is being returned “in a coma”, a condition that he allegedly has been in for the past year. Confirmation of that report is still pending.
Warmbier’s release comes at the same time as former NBA player Dennis Rodman is returning to North Korea for a visit – reportedly his fifth trip to North Korea. Rodman has become “friends” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
President Trump gets Otto Warmbier out of a North Korean Prison. And we didn’t have to send an airplane full of cash… just Dennis Rodman. pic.twitter.com/4vYKuXsG2V
— Rex Tilllerson (@RexTilllerson) June 13, 2017
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 13, 2017
— EAP Bureau (@USAsiaPacific) June 13, 2017
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) June 13, 2017
#BREAKING: Washington Post reports University student Otto Warmbier is said to be in a coma for more than a year.
— The Cavalier Daily (@cavalierdaily) June 13, 2017
— Bill Hemmer (@BillHemmer) June 13, 2017
If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
Putin forces arrest more than 200 anti-government activists