Doctors treating Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was detained by the North Korean regime while on a group tour there past year, said today that he is suffering from a severe brain injury and is in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness".
The US doctors could not prove what triggered this but said they had found no signs of a botulism infection - the official explanation given by the North Korean regime for how the young man fell into a coma. Mr Warmbier said Mr Trump was "kind.gracious".
In a news conference Thursday, the doctors at University of Cincinnati Medical Center said the 22-year-old has suffered an extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain.
Warmbier was arrested on January 2, 2016, while trying to board a plane out of North Korea.
Warmbier's future care and treatment will be kept confidential out of respect for the family, Kanter said. At a news conference this morning, Fred Warmbier said he only learned a week ago Otto was unconscious and had been for more than a year.
Otto Warmbier, who was serving a 15-year prison term in North Korea, was released and returned to the US on Tuesday as the Trump administration revealed a rare exchange with the reclusive country.
Danny Gratton told the Washington Post he met Warmbier in Beijing in December 2015 on a tour to North Korea.More news: Firefighters battling massive blaze in London high-rise
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Fred Warmbier said he and his wife grew frustrated with the lack of progress and with the Obama administration's instructions not to talk about their son's case publicly out of concern it would upset the North and make a release less likely.
Warmbier was planning to be in the country for a five-day stay before flying to Beijing to participate in a 10-day tour of two Asian financial capitals, Hong Kong and Singapore, sponsored by his school: University of Virginia.
After the Swedes visited one detainee, North Korea representatives sought another meeting with Yun, and it was at that June 6 meeting in NY that North Korea's United Nations ambassador told Yun that Warmbier was in a coma, the official said. Hearing-impaired dancers perform as Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman watches them during his visit to the Korean Federation for the Protection of Disabled on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea claimed Warmbier's condition was caused by a combination of botulism and sleeping pills that he was given, but his father isn't buying Pyongyang's story. Richardson said he had yet to inform the Trump administration about his letter, but had briefed the State Department and White House in recent weeks on his past efforts.
The world has become used to bad stories of brutality from North Korea.
The Trump administration issued repeated warnings to North Korea's government for its missile program.
"We have very few answers", Fred Warmbier said.
When asked whether then-President Barack Obama could have done more, Warmbier replied, "I think the results speak for themselves".
"It must have been an accident and that's probably why they were hiding it for a year", Go Myong-Hyun, researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, told AFP.