UVA issues statement student held by NKorea

UVA issues statement student held by NKorea

An American student who was serving a 15-year prison term in North Korea has been released and is on his way home to the United States, according to the State Department.

The diplomatic process began on June 6 when State Department Special Representative Joseph Yun met with North Korean UN Mission Ambassador Pak Kil-yon in New York City and learned of Warmbier's deteriorating health condition, according to a senior State Department official.

Tillerson says that Warmbier is on his way back to the U.S.to be re-united with his family.

"We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime" in North Korea, the Warmbiers said in a statement quoted by the AP. Warmbier's parents said in a statement Tuesday that he had been freed by the Communist state but had to be medically evacuated because he was in a coma.

Warmbier was on a New Year's Eve tour in North Korea, en route to Hong Kong, where he was to do a January study-abroad trip. He will travel to OH where he will be reunited with his family.

The North Korean government has finally released Otto Warmbier, 22, the University of Virginia college student who was detained for stealing a banner out of the balcony of his Pyongyang hotel room.

On March 16, two hours after U.S. envoy Bill Richardson met with two North Korean diplomats from the United Nations office to press for Warmbier's release, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Joseph Yun, the USA special representative to North Korea, had persuaded his boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to bless the rare, face-to-face dialogue with senior North Korean Foreign Ministry officials after assuring him that the agenda would focus on the status of four American citizens imprisoned by the Kim regime, according to people familiar with the process.

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- In 2011, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited North Korea to win the release of American Aijalon Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years of hard labor for crossing illegally into North Korea from China. Tillerson begins the effort and routinely updates the President.

"We wish him well, but we have issued travel warnings to Americans and suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety", U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon told reporters after discussing the North Korean missile threat and other issues with Japanese counterparts. The North Koreans agreed to allow consular visits to four Americans held in the North.

The North Korean court held that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

During this meeting, Yun learns about Mr. Warmbier's condition. And Yun was dispatched to North Korea and visited Warmbier with two doctors on Monday, and demanded his release.

North Korea poses one of the greatest national security challenges for Trump as it tries to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike America.

Despite the increasingly hostile US-North Korean relationship, the Warmbiers said they were encouraged by US President Donald Trump's willingness to improve relations with North Korea. "Otto should have been released from the start", said US Sen.

Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield. Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016.

There is an internet urban legend that North Korea is a pothead paradise and maybe even the next Amsterdam of pot tourism.

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