Dennis Rodman Visits North Korea Again to Meet Kim Jong Un

Dennis Rodman

The State Department denied any connection between Warmbier's release and Rodman's visit, which President Donald Trump's administration said it did not authorise.

An American student who fell into a coma while imprisoned in a North Korean labor camp returned to the United States late Tuesday after Pyongyang allowed him to be flown home, U.S. media reported.

The parents of the 22-year old American college student freed by North Korea say he is in a coma and is on a Medivac flight on his way home.

A small group of family friends was nearby to celebrate Warmbier's arrival, cheering and holding signs that read "Pray for Otto" and "Welcome home Otto".

They also said they are grateful he "will finally be with people who love him". He said: "We are in a stage where we are moving into this next effort of, 'Are we going to have to, in effect, start taking secondary sanctions because countries we have provided information to have not, or are unwilling, or don't have the ability to do that?".

"We're absolutely thrilled. There are many happy people tonight in Wyoming", Wyoming City Council member Jenni McCauley said.

Earlier Tuesday, Fred Warmbier told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the family will hold a news conference later this week in Cincinnati.

On Tuesday, South Korean military officials told reporters that a North Korean drone found last week had taken photographs of a recently installed, USA -made anti-missile system.

PotCoin, which hopes to become the Bitcoin of the marijuana industry, is sponsoring the former National Basketball Association player's trip to North Korea to meet with the leader of the reclusive state, Kim Jong Un.

On the same day that Warmbier left North Korea, another American made a decision to show up.

Tillerson said the State Department is continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens imprisoned there.

The three other USA citizens detained in North Korea are Kim Hak-song, an agricultural researcher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; Tony Kim (aka Kim Sang-duk), an accounting teacher from the same school; and Kim Dong-chul, a businessman. Let me reiterate this: "We strongly, strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea". The brutalization and terrorism the North Koreans have put upon Otto and the Warmbier family have ended.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, called Warmbier's arrest and trial "unnecessary and appalling", while lawmakers from Virginia also denounced North Korea's actions.

- South Korean-born US citizen Kim Dong Chul, who was sentenced in April 2016 to 10 years in prison with hard labor after being convicted of espionage.

"On whether these two incidents are related, one should directly ask the country concerned", he said during a regular press briefing.

Foreign detainees in North Korea have previously recanted confessions, saying they were made under pressure.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Tuesday the release of Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir), a University of Virginia student.

Rodman, who is known as much for his piercings, ever-changing hair colors and off-court antics as his basketball skills, has developed an unlikely relationship with the North Korean leader since making his first trip there in 2013. His current visit has already been roundly criticized by some for its timing, during high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

The 56-year-old NBA Hall of Famer, who was heavily criticized for failing to raise the plight of a jailed United States missionary on a previous trip, said discussing detained USA citizens was "not my objective right now". The school has close historical ties to Yanbian University in Jilin, China, near the border with North Korea.

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