US college student released by North Korea arrives in Ohio

However, nothing should be read into this coincidence, given the timeline of theTrump administration's own prior initiatives leading to the release.

Thomas Shannon, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, said in Seoul that Joseph Yun - the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, in charge of dealing with the country's nuclear and missile programs - was behind Tuesday's evacuation of Otto Warmbier.

He has previously described his visits - including one in 2013 with the Harlem Globetrotters - as "basketball diplomacy" but has been roundly criticised for failing to raise human rights issues.

Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare.

The statement from Leigh contradicts the more serious claim North Korea made in May. Chang also talks about N. Korea's missile capabilities and the timeline for their ability to strike the US with a nuclear weapon.

That moment to use this chip might have arrived, in Pyongyang's estimation, with the escalation of tensions between the USA and North Korea over the latter's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In 2014, Rodman arranged a basketball game with other former NBA players and North Koreans and regaled leader Kim with a rendition of "Happy Birthday". The 22-year-old student from suburban Cincinnati was supposed to graduate from the University of Virginia in May. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail after tearfully confessing to trying to steal a propaganda sign.

Earlier Tuesday, Fred Warmbier told The Cincinnati Enquirer said the family would hold a news conference Wednesday in Cincinnati, with the details yet to be finalized.

The father of an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and was returned to his home state of OH in a coma says the family is "adjusting to a different reality.". Kenneth Bae, an American who was detained for two years in the North from 2012, told the Korea JoongAng Daily last month he was forced to confess his crime and also to fabricate some parts of his story. Thousands of USA troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world.

"Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with the release of Mr. Warmbier", said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman.

She says it's an "extremely sad" situation that student Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) is in a coma.

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Officials for PotCoin, which is likened to a smaller-scale Bitcoin for weed entrepreneurs and their customers, also did not explain why they've put up the money for Rodman's mission. North Korea accuses Washington and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its government. "Take care of Otto", Trump is said to have instructed his top diplomat.

It's unclear if Warmbier's release during Rodman's visit was purely coincidental. Warmbier was evacuated Tuesday.

The incident comes at a time of grave tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the Kim Jong-un regime signaling plans to top a series of missile launches with the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) - and threatening nuclear retaliation for what it says is USA aggression.

Mr Warmbier's release comes hours after U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea.

Before arriving this time, Rodman told reporters that Trump would be happy with the trip because he was "trying to accomplish something that we both need", prompting speculation that he may be operating as an unofficial envoy.

He said in Beijing his aim is to try to "bring sports to North Korea".

In the past, North Korea has held out until senior US officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees. A 2009 visit by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

On the release of Warmbir said Tuesday, June 13, U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson.

Three weeks later, North Korea announced it was holding him for a "hostile act" against the state. He worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.


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