North Korea releases jailed United States citizen Otto Warmbier

Swedish diplomats, who represent US interests in Pyongyang, were able to check in on Warmbier recently and reported that the young American was in a coma after being stricken with what appeared to be a case of botulism.

The Warmbiers were told that the American student had come down with a case of botulism soon after his trial - which lasted only one hour - and had been given a sleeping pill, from which he never woke up.

The United States will seek to deny North Korea crude oil supplies and other basic needs in an effort to ramp up pressure on the regime over its nuclear and missile programs, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him".

A senior State Department official told CNN that the USA has not yet accepted the North Korean version of events in terms of the timing and cause of how Warmbier went into a coma.

The official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no formal statement had been released, said he could not provide further details.

The State Department offered no comment on Mr. Warmbier's health or the circumstances of his release, saying its decision to remain silent was out of respect for the family's privacy.

Rodman was traveling with Volo and Columbia University geneticist Joe Terwilliger, who has accompanied Rodman on previous trips.

Critics of Trump, meanwhile, also like to point to the eerie echoes of the Kim regime in the US president's own behavior.

"I'm just trying to open the door", the eccentric ex-Chicago Bulls power forward told reporters at Beijing airport before boarding his Air Koryo flight.

Tillerson said the State Department is continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens imprisoned there. The DPRK Supreme Court sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor last March after he tearfully confessed in a televised proceeding.

Meanwhile, the White House said Moon and Trump will meet on June 29 and 30 to discuss ways of building on what America frequently calls its "ironclad" alliance with South Korea.

"What an incredible day for one of our citizens who was held in North Korea for more than a year", Nauert said.

Since taking office in January, US President Donald Trump has faced a growing national security challenge from North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of US and worldwide sanctions. The North Korean government told his parents that food poisoning was to blame. He identified the church as Friendship United Methodist Church. He was charged with stealing the sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang and committing "crimes against the state".

He told reporters he was offered a used auto worth $10,000 (£7,840) if he could obtain a sign, adding that $200,000 (£156,860) would be paid to his mother if he was detained and didn't return. "Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal". The last 17 months have been an extremely hard and emotionally trying time for the Warmbier family. He said Warmbier's sentence was "unnecessary and appalling". Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country's "despicable actions ... must be condemned".

Detained Americans are frequently used as bargaining chips for the North Korean regime to gain legitimacy on the world stage or push for an easing of sanctions.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman of OH said: "Otto's detainment and sentence was unnecessary and appalling, and North Korea should be universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior".

Jeffrey Fowle, another US tourist from OH detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a USA government plane.

While North Korea's move to free Warmbier could potentially provide an opening for talks on security issues, the prospects still appear bleak.

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