USA doctors dispute North Korean coma story

A spokesperson from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said 22-year-old Otto was in stable condition but had suffered "a severe neurological injury". Doctors planned an update later Thursday.

Warmbier's release came after a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts between Washington and Pyongyang, which culminated in Joseph Yun, the State Department's special envoy to North Korea, travelling to Pyongyang to secure Warmbier's release.

Warmbier has suffered extreme damage to all parts of his brain, typically caused by a loss of blood to the brain, the doctors said, although they were unable to speculate on what may have happened to Warmbier while he was in North Korea.

Fred Warmbier, Otto's father, held a news conference Thursday, June 15. Blue-and-white ribbons in the school's colors were tied around the trees and utility poles all the way along the city's main road in a show of support. Otto Warmbier was subsequently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and reportedly fell into a coma around the same time.

"We don't believe anything they (North Korea) say", said Fred Warmbier, who was wearing a sport coat that Otto Warmbier had worn during a confession to his crimes previous year in North Korea that was broadcast.

During his speech to press, Fred Warmbier called on North Korea to release other American prisoners, saying, "No other family should have to endure what the Warmbiers have".

Voice breaking and tears in his eyes, the father noted he was wearing the same off-white jacket his son had worn during his North Korean court appearance, adding he was "proud" of his son's adventurous spirit. "It was kind", Fred Warmbier said.

When asked whether President Obama could have done more, Fred Warmbier replied: "I think the results speak for themselves".

Otto Warmbier was released after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson negotiated for his return, at the direction of President Donald Trump, the administration said.

"He doesn't deserve this", Fred Warmbier told The Cincinnati Enquirer in an interview last month.

Fred Warmbier chose to wear his son's coat during his statement. He was then transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he is in a coma. Joy at his release was mixed with concern over his condition.

The North Korean regime deemed him a "war criminal" and "brutalized and terrorized" him during his detainment, his father said.

Three Americans remain in North Korea custody.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been heightened by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since the beginning of a year ago.

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