The American college student being held captive in North Korea since last January has finally returned home to the US after diplomats learned he’s been in a coma for more than a year. He is now being treataed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
22 year old Otto Warmbier is finally back home in Cincinnati. His family cried after seing him. They’ve been waiting nearly 18 months for their song to be released from North Korea. The former University of Virginia student had to be carried off by hand, land is now in urgent need of medical care. His family says they were told just last week that Warmbier has been in a coma for more than a year.
North Korea claims Warmbier contractied botulism and they gave him a “sleeping pill”. State Department officials say they cannot confirm what caused the coma.
Warmbier’s release comes after secret talks between US and North Korean officials last month in Oslo. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, tells us, “at the President’s direction, the Deparment of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier”.
While studying abroad, Warmbier went on a tour of North Korea in January of 2016. He allegedly was caught on camera trying to steal a political banner from his hotel. The regime paraded him in front of cameras and on state tv, Warmbier publicly broke down, begging for compassion. Warmbier plead, “I’ve made the worst mistake of my life, but please act to save me, please think of my family.
Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in a North Korean prison, falling into a coma shortly after his trial.
Warmbier’s parents have released a statement saying, “we want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea”. They are expected to hold a press conference tomorrow morning.