Otto Warmbier suffered brain damage in N Korea

Otto Warmbier suffered brain damage in N Korea

He returned to the U.S.in state of coma after being detained in North Korea for over 17 months.

Gratton also said he had no clue that Warmbier had taken the sign from the hotel lobby.

The tour group that brought a 22 year-old American student to North Korea where he was later detained and sent home over a year later in a coma advertises the country as "probably one of the safest countries on Earth to visit". Doctors say he has severe injury to all regions of his brain.

A state department spokeswoman said in Washington, DC that Warmbier's release followed "quiet diplomacy", at US President Donald Trump's suggestion.

Price said Thursday the Obama administration's efforts secured the release of at least 10 other Americans from North Korea. Fred Warmbier said he received "a very nice phone call" Wednesday from the president.

His visit coincided with the release of Otto Warmbier, a U.S. student sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean jail with hard labour jail for admitting to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel he was staying at.

The other Americans held by Pyongyang are Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak-song, academics who worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, and a businessman named Kim Dong Chul.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert (NOW'-ert) says the USA hopes the other Americans will be able to return home soon. Kanter described his condition as a being in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness".

Yun met in May with North Korean representatives in Norway, and the North Koreans agreed that Swedish representatives would be allowed to visit Otto Warmbier and three other USA detainees, a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity this week.

He said he and his wife grew frustrated with the lack of progress and with the Obama administration's instructions not to talk about their son's case publicly out of concern it would upset the North and make a release less likely.

"That was it. That was the last physical time I saw Otto, ever", Gratton said.

Warmbier's parents have been fighting for the release of their son, a University of Virginia student, since his arrest. White calls him a "curious boy" and says his adventurous nature led him to travel extensively during summers.

Washington has stepped up pressure on China and other foreign powers to enforce existing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and has deployed increased military assets of its own in the region.

Yun met with the North Korean ambassador to the U.N.in NY on June 6 and was told of Warmbier's medical status.

The U.S. recently obtained intelligence reports suggesting that North Korean authorities repeatedly beat Warmbier while he was in custody, a senior American official told The New York Times.

A hospital official from UC Health said later today three doctors will share an update on Otto's medical condition.

Doctors plan a news conference on campus later Thursday.

His father, Fred Warmbier, said he does not believe North Korea's explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

At a news conference earlier on Thursday, father Fred Warmbier said they are left with many questions and no answers.

Fred Warmbier, in an emotional news conference in OH, did not demur when asked if Obama could have done more.

Warmbier, from Wyoming, Ohio, has been in a coma since March 2016, shortly after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in North Korea, his family said on Tuesday. "A really good trip", Dennis Rodman said upon his return.

U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill last month that would ban United States citizens from travelling to North Korea as tourists and require them to obtain special permission for other types of visits, following the detention of at least 17 Americans there in the past decade.

It has been nearly a year and a half since Warmbier was detained in North Korea, which he had visited on a five-day tourist trip on his way to a study-abroad trip to Hong Kong with the University of Virginia.

"We do not see any skin indications that are strongly suggestive of mistreatment", he said.

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