University of Cincinnati Medical Center officials announced that Otto Warmbier, the student that was detained in North Korea for the last two years, is in stable condition, but has a severe neurological injury.
State department officials were finally able to secure the man’s safe transport home this year, something President Obama failed to do. Before Warmbier was released by the North Korean government, they announced that he had developed a case of botulism that has kept him severely ill for a year.
Warmbier, 22, was taken into custody by North Korean police in 2015, when they said he had tried to steal a poster. He did one press conference, where he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
The Daily Mail reports:
Otto Warmbier is in stable condition but has a severe neurological injury, University of Cincinnati Medical Center officials said at a Thursday morning press conference.
State Department officials helped secure the 22-year-old’s release this week after a 17-month detainment in North Korea for stealing a poster.
Right before he was flown back to the U.S., the regime revealed he had been in a coma due to botulism since the day after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016.
At the same press conference, held at Otto’s former high school in Wyoming, Ohio, his father Fred called what the North Koreans did to his son unconscionable, while blaming President Obama for not doing enough to secure his son’s release.
‘Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill – and we don’t – there is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top-notch medical care for so long,’ Mr. Warmbier said, while wearing the same jacket that his son wore to his sentencing in North Korea.
He added that the North Koreans have proven that they are ‘not nature’s noble men’.
‘There’s no excuse for the way the North Koreans treated our son and the way they have treated so many others,’ Mr Warmbier said.
He called on the regime to release the other foreigners being held against their well, saying ‘no other family should have to endure what the Warmbiers have’.
‘We have been brutalized for the past 18 months with misinformation and no information,’ Mr Warmbier said. ‘We’re just thrilled that he is on American soil.’
Mr Warmbier also expressed his family’s frustrations at the Obama Administration’s efforts – or lack there of – to get his son back when he was first held by the North Koreans more than a year ago.
He said the family was ‘advised by the past administration to take a low profile while they worked to get his release’.
But Mr Warmbier said that tactic didn’t work, so they decided to go public with their son’s story earlier this year when President Trump came into office.
‘We went public with an interview on the Tucker Carlson show, did a couple of written pieces and very quickly we have Otto home,’ he said.
When asked by a reporter if he thought the Obama administration didn’t do enough to bring Otto home, Mr Warmbier responded ‘I think the results speak for themselves’.