Washington, June 14: Otto Warmbier, an American student held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months is said to be in coma. He was medically evacuated from the reclusive country after a U.S official paid a visit there. His release came after Joseph Yun, the U.S. State Department's special envoy on North Korea, traveled to Pyongyang and demanded Warmbier's release on "humanitarian grounds".
Warmbier’s parents said, "Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016. We learned of this only one week ago. We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea."According to North Korean media, Warmbier was detained in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March last year for trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan.
Warmbier’s release comes at a time when U.S and North Korea are at the worst stage of understanding. The U.S has no diplomatic ties with North Korea. In the meantime, former NBA player Dennis Rodman has landed in the isolated nation to promote sports on a non-U.S sanctioned mission.