American student Warmbier released on humanitarian grounds - North Korea

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After nearly 17 months of confinement, the hermit kingdom freed the student on June 13 - however not before he went into a coma and suffered severe brain damage.

The 21-year-old American student returned to the United States in a coma this week.

"Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill causing the coma - and we don't - there is no excuse for any civilised nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top-notch medical care for so long".

There had been speculation as to whether Warmbier's release had anything to do with basketball star Dennis Rodman's recent trip to North Korea.

"He has not spoken", Kanter said, per Fox News.

Warmbier was planning to be in the country for a five-day stay before flying to Beijing to participate in a 10-day tour of two Asian financial capitals, Hong Kong and Singapore, sponsored by his school: University of Virginia. The said material was used during the court trial where he was found guilty of committing "hostile acts" while on tour.

His family said he had been in a coma since March 2016, shortly after he was sentenced to 15 years' hard labor in North Korea. "I just said kind of quite nervously, 'Well, that's the last we'll see of you.' There's a great irony in those words".

Warmbier's family said North Korea insist the coma was the result of botulism and a sleeping pill.

The father saluted his son as a brilliant, adventurous and courageous man who did what he could to endure brutality and terror.

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"We don't feel he has any conscious awareness", Brandon Foreman, neurointensive care specialist at UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, said. "He has profound weakness of contraction in his arms and legs".

His neurological condition was "not what we normally see with traumatic brain injury", said Dr Daniel Kanter. Find us on Facebook too!

Otto Warmbier's return has lent support to voices calling for a travel ban on North Korea, which has a long record of holding USA nationals to use them as a bargaining chip.

The hermit state freed Otto Warmbier on Tuesday after about 17 months in custody.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Otto's parents, have also expressed disbelief at North Korea's story that their son caught extreme food poisoning. He was released six days later. "At no stage did I ever think he was anything but a very, very polite kid". His family was unaware of his condition until he was released.

Fred went on to disparage the Obama administration's efforts to save his son. "That's not my goal right now", he said.

The University of Virginia student was taken prisoner after he was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting the country and luring Americans to the country with the false promise they will never be detained.

Ned Price said that the administration was able to secure the release of 10 other Americans who are imprisoned in North Korea. "But they provide fodder for the North Koreans, and my son happened to become fodder for the North Koreans".

"That's the main reason why we're going", Rodman said in a video clip posted on his Twitter. The next day, Warmbier was flown to a USA base in Japan before making the longer journey to OH to be reunited with his family.

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