Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Banning Flippers? North Korea lashes out at trade sanctions

Marta Holmes | 17 June, 2017, 06:06

She says there are plenty of restrictions on what Americans can do in countries that face US sanctions - like North Korea or Iran.

Survivors of North Korea's concentration camps draw what they witnessed.

Gratton told the newspaper that Warmbier didn't seem sick - suggesting it might've been a ruse by the North Koreans.

"How safe is it?"

Warmbier, 22, spent nearly a year-and-a-half in captivity after being arrested in January 2016. The company claims on its website that North Korea "is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit", adding that "tourism is very welcomed in North Korea, thus tourists are cherished and well taken care of".

One of the most puzzling aspects is why North Korea held onto Warmbier for 15 months after he fell into a coma - something that no doubt worsened his condition and that would have proven expensive and hard to treat for a country with few medical resources.

Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for the first time since Donald Trump's presidency, as reported by Fox News.

Washington has stepped up pressure on China and other foreign powers to enforce existing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and has deployed increased military assets of its own in the region. "We have never felt suspicious or threatened at any time".

Then in May, Yun met in the Norwegian capital of Oslo with senior officials from North Korea's Foreign Ministry.

Gratton witnessed North Korean security officers putting his American friend under arrest at the airport as they boarded a plane.

Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016, speaks during a news conference, Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Wyoming High School in Cinci. "We went for 15 months without a word from or about Otto".

He was incarcerated in March 2016 for stealing a political poster from a hotel.

Warmbier fell into a coma while serving his sentence.

Kim Dong-chul was arrested on accusations of espionage shortly after Warmbier's sentencing and has been held ever since.

At no point did Warmbier demand that Obama administration offer North Korea a "ransom" for his son, nor is there any evidence that any ransom was given to the authoritarian regime by the Trump administration to secure Otto Watmbier's release.

Warmbier was detained at Pyongyang airport while on his way home to the United States in January 2016. "This is pretty much what happened in this case", Lankov said. "We are continuing to work closely with relevant authorities to ensure a speedy and satisfactory outcome for Mr Warmbier".

Many believe American tourism to North Korea helps each side humanize the other - including Dennis Rodman, who's now visiting the reclusive country. He described the homecoming as "bittersweet" and called his son "a fighter", adding somberly, "We're trying to make him comfortable".

Young Pioneers, whose website boasts of providing "budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stay away from", is among the most popular choice of tour operators among young Westerners.

The contrast of the black Cincinnati night sky, combined with Lunken Airport airport's bright spotlights, made it almost impossible to see anything that was happening as medical personnel carried Warmbier's limp body down the plane's steps, says Reuters photographer Bryan Woolston.

North Korea claimed that Warmbier's brain damage is due to botulism, but Warmbier's doctors said Thursday they have found no evidence to support that claim.

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