He was arrested in January last year for allegedly stealing a political propaganda sign from a hotel in North Korea and was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
An airplane carrying Otto Warmbier, who is from OH, landed in Cincinnati late Tuesday night.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was visiting the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, as part of a student tour group. Obviously it's weird that he would contract it just after he was sentenced to fifteen years hard labour by the North Korean state, but there's not a whole lot else to go off right now.
He was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.
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 accounts of former prisoners have shed some light on the harsh conditions he and other detainees might have endured.
A Cincinnati man was released from a North Korean prison Tuesday after being incarcerated for more than 15 months for what the Democratic People's Republic of Korea described as hostile acts against the regime.
Lee said South Korea is also making efforts to seek the release of its own citizens now held in North Korea. According to the Times, Kim most recently lived in North Korea with his wife, who may still be in the country.
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A senior Trump administration official told Fox News Rodman was going to the North "as a private citizen". He visited Warmbier with two doctors on Monday, and demanded his release on humanitarian grounds.
"We thank you for the opportunity and blessing you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people", said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who reports suggest may be at risk of losing his job amid internal palace squabbles. "I think we're very excited yet very prayerful about what is happening because we've heard he is in a coma".
The Warmbier family said they were informed that North Korean officials had told American envoys that their son became ill with botulism soon after his show trial.
Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Rodman had nothing to do with Warmbier's release.
The three other Americans detained by North Korea remain there. A person who answered the phone at Warmbier's family's OH residence said: "No comment, thank you" and hung up.
Otto Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, confirmed in a statement that their son is in a coma. In 2013, ahead of his first trip, I wrote a tipsheet for Rodman on the vile record of the North Korean regime.
That sense of relief is shared throughout this nation, which also wonders how long North Korea will be permitted to continue its nuclear designs and to foment unsafe worldwide threats.
In the past, North Korea has held out until senior USA officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees, all the way up to former President Bill Clinton, whose visit in 2009 secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.
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.