Tillerson: North Korea releases US citizen Otto Warmbier

Dennis Rodman says 'trying to open a door' in North Korea

Rodman isn't representing the USA government or serving as President Donald Trump's emissary, Anton said.

Since taking office in January, U.S. President Donald Trump has faced growing tensions with North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.S. and global sanctions.

Mr Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea's Supreme Court in March 2016.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has declined to provide details on the circumstance of Warmbier's release or comment on his health condition.

"Our son is coming home", Fred Warmbier told the Washington Post. As I have said in the past, we must always prioritize and ensure the safe return of all USA citizens, including those who remain detained by the North Korean regime.

Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said Warmbier was released and left the country Tuesday morning. His family says he is in a coma. "We strongly, strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea".

The North Korean court held that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

Mr Yun was then dispatched to North Korea and visited Mr Warmbier with two doctors on Monday, and demanded his release on humanitarian grounds. He was evacuated on Tuesday.

Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

UVa President Teresa A. Sullivan released a statement Tuesday afternoon to express the school's support for Warmbier and his family.

Mr Warmbier was supposed to graduate from the university in May. Warmbier has said he arrived in the country on December 29, 2015, and was arrested January 2, 2016, as he prepared to fly out of Pyongyang's global airport.

Warmbier was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

Tillerson said the United States is discussing their respective cases with the North Korean regime. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland described North Korea's actions as "despicable".

The parents of the 22-year-old college student said he is on a Medivac flight on his way home.

The parents were also quoted as saying that North Korean officials informed them via USA envoys that Warmbier fell ill from botulism sometime after his trial in March past year and fell into a coma after taking a sleeping pill.

"While the entire University of Virginia community is relieved to learn of Otto's release from North Korea, we are deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma", Sullivan said. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him".

A source familiar with the government's efforts to free Warmbier says the State Department learned about the student's medical condition about a week ago. Mr. Warmbier is en route to the United States, where he will be reunited with his family.

"At the direction of President Donald Trump, the Department of State has secured the release", CNN quoted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's statement.

"The Department of State continues to have discussions with the DPRK regarding three other US citizens reported detained".

Warmbier was freed on the same day former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman landed in North Korea to visit its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The student's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, said they were only informed of his condition last week.

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.

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