U.S.

Otto Warmbier suffered brain damage in N Korea

Otto Warmbier suffered brain damage in N Korea

The father of Otto Warmbier, the United States student released from North Korean detention this week, lashed out Thursday at the reclusive regime, saying he did not believe its explanation for how his son fell into a coma.

Dr. Jordan Bonomo (L), a Neurointensivist, Dr. Daniel Kanter (C), Medical Director of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, and Dr. Brandon Forman (R), a Neurointensive Care Specialist, field questions about the condition and treatment of Otto Warmbier during a news conference at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 15, 2017.

Otto Warmbier was a University of Virginia student when he was detained in January 2016 at Pyongyang airport on his way home.

Fred Warmbier was visibly emotional during a news conference on Thursday, where he said his son Otto, fought to stay alive through the brutality and terror he endured in North Korea.

Without speculating on the cause of his injuries, Kanter and his colleagues said they found no evidence based on his condition to support the regime's explanation of botulism.

"There is no excuse for any civilized nation" to have kept his condition a secret, and denied him medical care for so long, ' he said.

After a one-hour trial in March 2016, Otto Warmbier was convicted of attempting to steal a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. "The other day I said I won't comment on personal health matters, and so I'm going to stand by that".

The United States should also move quickly to step up sanctions on the regime of Kim Jong Un, which has been racing to develop missiles that can reach the United States with a nuclear warhead.

The tour group that brought a 22 year-old American student to North Korea where he was later detained and sent home over a year later in a coma advertises the country as "probably one of the safest countries on Earth to visit".

In Cincinnati, doctors said they performed a battery of tests on Warmbier, ranging from ordinary X-rays to more advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans as well as skeletal surveys of the skull, ribs, pelvis and other areas to look for broken bones.

Yun boarded a private aircraft along with two doctors and arrived Monday in Pyongyang, where they were met by North Korean officials and saw Warmbier in a hospital.

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

The father of Otto Warmbier, a North Korean prisoner released Tuesday, blamed former President Barack Obama's administration for not doing enough for his son's faster release from the isolated country.

'I just said kind of quite nervously, 'Well, that's the last we'll see of you.' There's a great irony in those words'.

Warmbier, an American student, was imprisoned in North Korea and was apparently abused and beaten. "That's not my goal right now", he said.

"We don't believe anything that they say", said Warmbier's father, Fred of the rationale of North Korean captors. The Republican congressman says he wants to make sure the Treasury Department does not issue licenses for tourism to North Korea.

The U.S. government accuses North Korea of using such detainees as political pawns. He called on the country to release other Americans now held there.


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