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The intensifying strangeness of US-North Korea relations

Yun's visit came amid heightened tensions over North Korea's defiant pursuit of advanced military technologies, but USA media reports said, his mission, directly ordered by Trump, was centered on the 22-year-old student's immediate release on humanitarian grounds. He said Warmbier, of Cincinnati, was en route to the U.S.

Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir), whose parents say is in a coma, arrived at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center late Tuesday night.

His parents told the Washington Post newspaper their son is in a coma and has been for over a year.

You might remember early last year that a 22-year-old American college student was jailed for 15 years by North Korea after he tried to nick a flag while travelling in the country.

Yun's trip was the highest-level USA visit since then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper travelled to North Korea in 2014 to secure the release of two Americans, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, who had been sentenced to hard labour.

A hospital spokeswoman said Warmbier's family was expected to hold a news conference Thursday morning at Wyoming High School.

The State Department is continuing to discuss three other detained Americans with North Korea, Tillerson said. He was arrested in January 2016 and accused of trying to steal a propaganda poster from an employee area of his hotel.

Rodman talked to a women's basketball team at a gym Wednesday and visited the birthplace of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.

The 56-year-old NBA Hall of Famer, who was heavily criticized for failing to raise the plight of a jailed United States missionary on a previous trip, said discussing detained U.S. citizens was "not my objective right now". Some media reports said the North Koreans suggested Otto had come down with a case of botulism and fell into a coma after being given a sleeping pill.

Leigh said he was detained in the room at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport for four days on charges of spying on North Korea military facilities.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement to The Associated Press that they have been told their son has been in a coma since March 2016, and they had learned of this only one week ago.

Seoul said last month that it will flexibly resume civilian inter-Korean exchanges to an extent that the move does not compromise the worldwide sanctions regime.

Trump called Rodman "smart" for his 2013 trip to North Korea, Politico reported at the time.

The incident comes at a time of grave tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the Kim Jong-un regime signaling plans to top a series of missile launches with the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) - and threatening nuclear retaliation for what it says is US aggression.

Imprisoned in North Korea are three of a United States citizen.

"I am pretty much sure that he is happy with the fact that I am here trying to accomplish something that we both need", Rodman said, when asked if he had spoken with Trump.

There was no clear sign that the former National Basketball Association bad boy would meet leader Kim Jong Un, as he did on previous visits to the isolated country. Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told that he has been in that condition since March of 2016.

Warmbier was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor in North Korea for alleged anti-state acts.

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far. PotCoin stock soared almost 100 percent after news and photos of Rodman were published upon his arrival in North Korea.

Lu said he has "consistently" welcomed and supported greater dialogue and contact between North Korea and the USA - as countries directly involved in the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue - to increase mutual understanding and trust.



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