The U.S. Student ‘Otto Warmbier’  Released From North Korea Is In A Coma

(CNN) American college student Otto Warmbier has been released after more than 17 months in detention in North Korea but has been in a coma for over a year, according to his parents. He was given a sleeping pill and had been in a coma ever since.

American student released by North Korea is in a coma 1

The 22-year-old contracted botulism and is in “bad shape” but en route back to the United States, a source close to the family told CNN.

“Otto has left North Korea. He is on Medivac flight on his way home. 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,” said Fred and Cindy Warmbier in a statement.

 “We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korean. We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him.”

 US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also confirmed Warmbier’s release in a statement.

 Who is Otto Warmbier?

Otto Warmbier is an economics graduate from the University of Virginia, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.

He was in North Korea as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tours when he was arrested on 2 January 2016.

He appeared emotional at a news conference a month later, in which he tearfully confessed to trying to take the sign as a “trophy” for a US church, adding “the aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people”. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

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

Mr Tillerson made no mention of Mr Warmbier’s condition in his statement, saying only that he was on his way home to be reunited with his family and would not make any further comment, out of respect for the privacy of the family.

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