How Many Americans Are Imprisoned in North Korea?

After Otto Warmbier, detained for more than a year in North Korea, returned home this week in a coma, the Trump administration is looking into ways to stop other Americans from going to North Korea.

"I'm glad that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and I, along with a very talented team, were able to get Otto Warmbier back with his parents. Relief that Otto is now home in the arms of those who love him, and anger that he was so brutally treated for so long", Mr. Warmbier said.

Otto Warmbier, the United States student released by North Korea this week after falling into a coma while in a labor camp, has suffered "severe neurological injury", a hospital spokesman said June 15, 2017.The 22-year-old from Cincinnati spent more than a year in detention after being arrested for stealing a political poster from a hotel.

Fred Warmbier said the family did not believe North Korea's story that his son had fallen into a coma after contracting botulism and being given a sleeping pill.

Otto was born to Cindy and Fred Warmbier in Cincinnati - the same city in which he's now hospitalized.

After nearly 17 months of confinement, the hermit kingdom freed the student on June 13 - however not before he went into a coma and suffered severe brain damage.

He's now being kept at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where doctors said he's stuck in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness".

Now, some believe a video that allegedly shows Warmbier ripping down the poster is not the American student at all.

Veteran former US politician and diplomat Bill Richardson offered on Friday to visit North Korea to secure the release of three detained Americans and a Canadian after USA university student Otto Warmbier was brought back in a coma.

Although U.S. citizens are not banned from visiting North Korea, the U.S. State Department strongly advises against it.

However, Warmbier fell into a coma and has remained that way for most of his 17 months in North Korea.

A roommate of Warmbier spoke to the Washington Post about his experiences in the isolated, communist country.

FILE - In this February 20, 2016, file photo, North Korean children attend a ski class at the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan, North Korea.

New details that emerged Thursday about Yun's brief visit to the North Korean capital illustrate the deep level of estrangement between the USA and North Korea, two countries that don't have diplomatic relations and have technically been in a state of war for more than half a century, despite the armistice that ended the Korean War.

Otto Warmbier went to North Korea as a bright-eyed 21-year-old student looking for adventure.

But, says Rosenberg, "Putting in place the kind of restrictions that would require US citizens to seek a license to go to North Korea - most of that falls to Congress to do". He was then transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. How did Warmbier fall into this coma?

Tourism to North Korea - especially Western tourism - has risen significantly in recent years despite global tensions regarding the country's nuclear program.

USA officials have repeatedly said Rodman is travelling to North Korea as a private citizen, despite speculation he is working as an unofficial emissary for Trump. "They have our thanks for bringing Otto home", he said. I think the results speak for themselves.

The 56-year-old NBA Hall of Famer has developed unusually cosy ties with the North's young leader over the course of at least four previous trips to the country.

  • Neal Todd