His family was told that he had contracted botulism and had been given a sleeping pill, causing him to slip into a coma, according to the people briefed on the situation, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the highly sensitive matter. His parents told The Post that North Korean representatives suddenly informed US officials last week that the student was in a coma.
There was no immediate confirmation from USA officials of North Korea's version of events - notably whether Warmbier was stricken with botulism, a potentially fatal illness that is caused by a toxin but is not usually associated with loss of consciousness.
"We're just really glad that he's able to come back". USA officials then urged those with the ability to persuade Pyongyang to ratchet up the pressure to get him released, said a source, who is familiar with the government's efforts.
According to Trump administration officials, information about Warmbier's condition was transmitted on June 6 by North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations to Joseph Yun, the State Department's special representative for North Korea, at a meeting in NY. We can't sanction the travel of North Korean officials because they never go anywhere.
Surrounded by North Korean guards, Warmbier delivered a highly scripted "confession" that appeared to have been written for him. State Department officials are accompanying Otto from Sapporo to Cincinnatti.
He informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who consulted with the president, the officials said.
"Although to date economic coercion has been ineffective in persuading North Korea to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, this does not mean it can not work", writes David Thompson, a senior analyst with C4ADS.
While in Pyongyang, Yun also visited the three other American detainees, the report said. During this meeting, Yun learned that Warmbier was in a coma.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday night diplomatic actions were taken because "bringing Otto home was a big priority for" U.S. President Donald Trump, NPR reported. President Trump ordered a State Department envoy and a medical team to Pyongyang to take Mr. Warmbier home to OH, ending his parents' nightmare and showing how intractable relations remain between the countries. "We look forward to him being back in the arms of his parents in OH".
He was detained at the airport as he was leaving the country with a tour group in January 2016.
Qatar tells Gulf residents they are free to stay
The decision will come as a relief to the more than 11,000 people from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain living in Qatar. Saudi Arabia and allies including the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, severing air, sea and land links.
He was charged with "hostile acts against the state".
A cryptocurrency for legalized marijuana is sponsoring former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's latest trip to North Korea. In addition to Warmbier, three other USA nationals remain in North Korean custody on various allegations of espionage. "Mr. Warmbier is en route to the USA where he will be reunited with his family". "Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal". "He's smart in many ways, he's very street wise". "The coma is obviously very concerning. I think it's just too soon to say what that dialogue is going to look like".
But hours after his arrival, student Otto Warmbier - who had been held for more than 17 months after being accused of stealing a poster from his hotel room - was released.
Much about the hastily arranged release remains a mystery.
"We pray for him and we pray for his family", said Thomas Shannon, a high-ranking State Department official".
Republican Senator Rob Portman says North Korea should be "universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior". "Take care of Otto", Trump is said to have instructed his top diplomat. Majority have been released only after a high-profile envoy, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, traveled to North Korea to get them out.
Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., called Warmbier's freedom "a long time coming" after facing "trumped-up charges".
A Canadian pastor is also being held in North Korea, having been given a life sentence after being convicted of subversion. "Out of respect for the privacy of Mr. Warmbier and his family, we have no further comment on Mr. Warmbier".
The other two were arrested after Warmbier. Worldwide negotiations on the dispute over North Korea's nuclear program have been in limbo for years, as the USA cranks up economic sanctions and North Korea won't give up weapons it considers a guarantee against invasion. A 2009 visit by former President Bill Clinton secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Warmbier was evacuated Tuesday.