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US college student released by North Korea arrives in Ohio

US college student released by North Korea arrives in Ohio”

Two ambulances were parked near an airport hangar.

The last time Rodman visited North Korea, he delighted the country's young ruler with a rendition of "Happy Birthday", suffered an angry meltdown on CNN while defending his trip, and spent time at a rehab facility after returning to the United States.

But Nauert is firm in stating "Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with the release of Mr. Warmbier".

Any visit to North Korea by a high-profile American is a political minefield, and Rodman has been criticized for failing to use his influence on leaders who are otherwise isolated diplomatically from the rest of the world.

Leigh also said North Korea security claimed he was spying on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump, and that he had been sent to assassinate Kim Jong Un. His current visit has already been roundly criticized by some for its timing, during high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

The detention of Americans, often sentenced to draconian prison sentences for seemingly small offenses in the totalitarian nation, has compounded tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. He was serving a 15-year service for pinching a poster while on a student trip to North Korea.

Warmbier was to have graduated last month had he not been detained.

Before his trial, Warmbier had said he tried to steal a propaganda banner as a trophy for an acquaintance who wanted to hang it in her church.

Secretary of State Tillerson said the State Department is continuing to discuss three other detained Americans with North Korea.

Tillerson says that Warmbier is on his way back to the U.S.to be re-united with his family. His parents say he has been in a coma and was medically evacuated.

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.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties". "We'll be relieved to have him home and are looking forward to surrounding him with people who love him". However, he added that Trump would be happy with the trip as he was "trying to accomplish something we both need", prompting speculation he could potentially be pserving as the administration as an unofficial envoy. The official referred to them as "hostages".

The North Koreans later urgently requested another meeting in NY.

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

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far.

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.

The bombastic player - who once wore a wedding dress to promote one of his books - also knows Trump, having appeared as a contestant on his reality television show "Celebrity Apprentice". He told reporters in Beijing, as he departed for Pyongyang, that he hopes his trip will "open a door" for Trump.

Since taking office in January, Trump has faced a growing national security challenge from North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of USA and worldwide sanctions.

There was no immediate confirmation from USA officials of North Korea's description of his illness. A 2009 visit by former President Bill Clinton secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. He worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. He was detained at Pyongyang's airport ahead of a flight to China.

Thus, nothing more than a New Year's Eve college prank was elevated to phony charges that Warmbier had committed an act tantamount to trying to overthrow the government.

A former Virginia resident and naturalized American citizen, Kim Dong-chul, was arrested shortly after Warmbier on accusations of espionage and was sentenced to 10 years with hard labor.

AP reporters Josh Lederman and Ken Thomas in Washington, Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang, North Korea, Daniel Sewell in Cincinnati and video journalist Sara Gillesby in NY contributed to this report.

On this trip, he has already been roundly criticized by some for visiting during a time of high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, arrived in the United States on Tuesday (June 13) evening, witnesses said.

The family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that Warmbier fell ill from botulism sometime after his March 2016 trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported.



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