Doctor says Otto Warmbier has brain damage

Lawrence Kim
June 19, 2017

He was returned to his hometown in suburban Cincinnati in a coma.

"It must have been an accident and that's probably why they were hiding it for a year", said Go Myong-hyun, researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Some American officials suspect that Warmbier's current condition is the result of his treatment. "Think about the number of times that we are able to engage with North Korea face to face on anything, and we had four Americans over there".

Doctors indicate that Otto Warmbier's current state is consistent with the aftermath of cardiopulmonary arrest that deprives the brain of blood.

White says Warmbier was a master at defusing tense situations with his humor.

The world may never find out exactly what happened to the former University of Virginia student, but his father believes he was tricked into visiting the country for nefarious purposes. White calls him a "curious boy" and says his adventurous nature led him to travel extensively during summers.

Marijuana is illegal in North Korea.

But the young man who landed in Cincinnati and was immediately taken to a hospital isn't the same person who left a year and a half ago on a trip to explore the secretive country.

The North Koreans said that Warmbier was held as a "prisoner of war".

Warmbier is in stable condition since his repatriation to his home state of OH, but doctors say the former detainee is unresponsive and has severely damaged brain tissue. However, asked at news conference in Miami about how the United States might respond given Warmbier's brain damage during captivity, Tillerson said he would not comment on his health, saying it was a private matter for the Warmbiers.

"Warmbier, who had been in hard labor, was sent back home on June 13, 2017, on humanitarian grounds according to the adjudication made on the same day by the Central Court of the DPRK", the agency said in the one-sentence report, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In the US, Fred Warmbier echoed Washington's denials that Rodman's visit to Pyongyang had anything to do with the sudden release of his sick son.

The New York Times quoted a senior United States official as saying Washington recently received intelligence reports that Warmbier had been repeatedly beaten in custody.

There was no evidence indicating botulism, Foreman said Thursday.

His parents plan a Thursday morning news conference. They said they wanted all to know they and their son had been "brutalised and terrorised by the pariah regime".

He said Otto "is not in great shape right now" and that his family is "adjusting to a different reality".

Otto Warmbier's roommate in North Korea has spoken out for the first time - and chillingly recalls his last words to the 22-year-old college student, who was released from imprisonment in North Korea in a coma on Tuesday.

"Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill causing a coma - and we don't - there is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition a secret and denied him top-notch medical care for so long", he added. He said he and his wife, Cindy, only learned of their son's condition last week.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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