US student suffered 'extensive' brain damage in North Korea

US official's 'quiet diplomacy' led to Warmbier's release

US student suffered 'extensive' brain damage in N. Korea

An American college student who emerged from prison in North Korea in a coma has severe brain damage, but doctors don't know what caused it, a medical team treating him in OH has said. "I think the results speak for themselves", said Mr Warmbier, who also said he never had a face-to-face meeting with Mr Obama but did not confirm any conversations or meetings with then-Secretary of State John Kerry. "What's happened to him is a truly awful thing", Trump said in Miami at the start of a speech on Cuba.

Warmbier slipped into a coma after a tearful public trial in which he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly attempting to steal a political propaganda poster.

North Korean authorities have claimed the youngster contracted botulism after being jailed in March 2016 for stealing a political poster from a hotel, an explanation U.S. medics have cast doubt on. On Thursday, Fred Warmbier addressed reporters wearing that same jacket, and fought back tears as he spoke of it.

The Ohio hospital where Otto was taken has said that he is in stable condition but suffered "severe neurological injury".

On Thursday, they described 22-year-old Otto Warmbier (WORM'-birz) as in a state of "unresponsiveness wakefulness".

Warmbier was arrested on January 2, 2016, while trying to board a plane out of North Korea. A family friend, Michael Forsythe, said on Wednesday that the situation was kind of like the "elephant in the room" - everyone shared the family's grief, but no one wanted to bring it up. "But what they do is they provide fodder for the North Koreans and my son happened to become fodder for the North Koreans", Fred Warmbier said.

A US diplomat who traveled to North Korea to secure American college student Otto Warmbier's (WORM'-birz) release also was able to make contact with three other Americans detained there.

Three American citizens remain prisoners in North Korea.

"I have proposed that as of today", Richardson said, adding that he argued in the letter it was in North Korea's interest to free the detainees unconditionally, "in the light of its failure to properly take care and handle" Warmbier's case.

FILE - In this February 20, 2016, file photo, North Korean children attend a ski class at the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan, North Korea.

One of the most puzzling aspects is why North Korea held onto Warmbier for 15 months after he fell into a coma - something that no doubt worsened his condition and that would have proven expensive and hard to treat for a country with few medical resources.

A former teacher of an American college student released by North Korea in a coma says he's a fighter and believes he'll do everything he can to recover.

FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Cardiac arrest in young, healthy people is rare and generally caused by either intoxication or traumatic injury, Dr. Jordan Bonomo, a specialist in neurosurgery and neurocritical care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said at the news conference.

Otto Warmbier's father, Frank Warmbier, addressed the media earlier in the day, saying it was "bittersweet" to have his son home. When asked if he had spoken to Trump about his trip, Rodman said, "Well, I'm pretty sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need".

Bill Richardson, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, called for an investigation into what happened to Warmbier.

The father says that he and his wife, Cindy, only learned of their son's condition last week.

The Trump administration issued repeated warnings to North Korea's government for its missile program.

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