UVA Student Otto Warmbier Held Captive in North Korea Released

 In Breaking News, Foreign

The American college student sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea has been released and will arrive in the United States on Tuesday. Otto Warmbier, 22, had served a little over a year of his 15 year sentence.

“Our son is coming home!” Fred Warmbier

Update: Fox News reported that Doctors have stated Otto Warmbier has extensive brain damage, and it is likely not from botulism. They also found no evidence of a beating, but the details of his condition will remain confidential.

Warmbier died on Monday, June 19.

Original Story:

The announcement was made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday morning.

“At the direction of the President, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea. Mr. Warmbier is en route to the United States, where he will be reunited with his family. The Department of State continues to have discussions with the DPRK regarding three other U.S. citizens reported detained. Out of respect for the privacy of Mr. Warmbier and his family, we have no further comment on Mr. Warmbier.”

Otto Warmbier was arrested in January of 2016 for stealing a banner with the picture of Kim Jong-Il. We reported that incident here:

Though the United States has no diplomatic relations with the DPRK, the Swedish Embassy often works as an intermediary for the US State Department. The release of arrestees usually has a reason- and often that reason is medical.

According to Otto’s parents, he contracted botulism not long after his one-hour trial in March of 2016. They gave him a sleeping pill and he reportedly “never woke up.” Fox News reported that a State Department official stated that he was in “bad shape” and in a coma.

His release has nothing whatsoever to do with Dennis Rodman’s visit. There are 3 Americans still imprisoned there. In other words, the North Koreans don’t want to deal with someone who has medical  issues.

Otto’s classmates at the University of Virginia graduated last month, and in honor of their friend, they left an empty chair for him.

The sad case of a young man who thought he was going on an adventure, forgot or was unaware of the totalitarian nature of the DPRK, and did something foolish. As we have stated many times before: North Korea is dangerous.

 

Featured photo screenshot via NextShark.com

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