Otto Warmbier’s family said that hey are “adjusting to a different reality” after their son returned home from North Korea, where he was “brutalized” by Kim Jong Un’s regime and held for more than a year in a coma, according to Fox News. The exact cause of Otto’s coma is still unknown. North Korea claims Otto’s coma was caused by him contracting botulism. However, doctors in the U.S. have found no signs of botulism, but have asserted that Otto has lost a massive amount of brain tissue.
North Korea, the secretive state, has broken its silence on why they chose to release American detainee Otto Warmbier, after condemning him to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean work camp.
Otto was freed for humanitarian reasons, according to a one-line report by the North Korean news agency on Thursday. The University of Virginia student, who is currently in a coma, was freed earlier this week after he was jailed for more than 17 months.
The 22-year-old was found guilty of committing a “hostile act” against North Korea in March of 2016 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. That was the last time Warmbier was seen publicly — and about the same time he fell into a coma, his parents say they were told.
Interesting enough, Warmbier’s release coincided with the arrival of day basketball star Dennis Rodman’s latest visit to North Korea.
Otto has not spoken since his return to his family hometown in Ohio. Dr. Daniel Kanter described Otto’s medical state.
“His neurological condition can be best described as a state of unresponsive wakefulness.”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 16, 2017
According to Dr. Kanter, Warmbier “shows no understanding of language” and has “extensive loss of brain tissue” which was likely caused by cardiopulmonary arrest.
Dennis Rodman Arrives In North Korea
Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for the first time since Donald Trump’s presidency, as reported by Fox News. The former N.B.A. star has been one of the United States’ most unlikely links to North Korea. Rodman’s trip was sponsored by Potcoin, a cryptocurrency which processes payments from weed dispensaries.
“Rodman is in the very rare position to be able to claim longtime friendships with both the Supreme Leader of North Korea, as well as with the current president of the United States.”
The basketball Hall-of-Famer said he is “just trying to open a door” on a mission he thinks may get support. 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.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 15, 2017
Though many have criticized Rodman, President Donald Trump has praised Rodman’s previous visits to North Korea in 2013.
Trump told Fox & Friends,“Maybe Dennis is a lot better than what we have,” after one of Rodman’s trips. It was this same year, that Dennis Rodman appeared as a contestant on the NBC show, Celebrity Apprentice.
“Dennis is not a stupid guy… He’s smart in many ways, he’s very street wise.”
A State Department source told CNN that Rodman’s arrival had nothing to do with Warmbier’s release.
[Featured Image by Jon Chol Jin/AP Images]