Monday, 26 June, 2017

Tillerson: North Korea releases U.S. citizen Otto Warmbier

Wilma Wheeler | 15 June, 2017, 02:09

In a subsequent tweet, he thanked PotCoin, a digital currency for buying and selling weed, "for sponsoring my mission". Rodman has traveled to the isolated nation four times previously.

The former National Basketball Association star told reporters before his flight that he is "just trying to open a door" during his visit.

He told reporters before departing Beijing airport on Tuesday that he is "just trying to open a door" with North Korea.

According to Rodman, the goal of this trip is "to open a door" between the United States and North Korea.

The former basketball star also has a personal relationship with current U.S. President Donald Trump, having appeared on the reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice", which was hosted by Trump before he was elected.

"Dennis is not a stupid guy", Trump said in a past interview with Fox & Friends. "He's smart in many ways; he's very streetwise".

There is no way of knowing yet whether the North Korean version of events is true, but the Warmbiers were told their son was in a coma the whole time.

"I would smoke a big ass blunt with Kim Jong Un", wrote a commenter on the Youtube video.

He won five league championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.

Tillerson said the State Department is still working to secure the release of three other USA citizens detained in North Korea. North Korea's Supreme Leader is reported to be a major basketball fan.

His entourage includes Joseph Terwilliger, a professor who has accompanied Rodman on previous trips to North Korea.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said Rodman would stay until Saturday.

Rodman received the red-carpet treatment on his four past trips since 2013, which generated a lot of publicity - most of it not good - and did little in terms of diplomacy. The unlikely pair ended the evening with drinks and dining on sushi.

At Beijing's global airport, Rodman was asked if he spoke to President Donald Trump about North Korea.

It said the department "continues to have discussions with [North Korea] regarding the three other American citizens who are detained".

Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, brought the older Kim a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan during a visit in 2000.

A White House official says the May meeting in Oslo was attended by Joseph Yun, the USA envoy to North Korea.

North Korea has been hailed by marijuana news outlets and British tabloids as a pothead paradise and maybe even the next Amsterdam of pot tourism.

Warmbier hails from Wyoming, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), and was attending the University of Virginia when he was detained in Pyongyang, where he traveled as a tourist.

Two other Americans remain incarcerated in North Korea: Tony Kim, a teacher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, and Kim Dong Chul, an American businessman.

Warmbier was about to board a flight home when he was arrested.

Warmbier's exact condition was not known, but his parents said they were told that he had gotten botulism soon after his trial and had been given a sleeping pill, from which he never woke up. "We learned of this only one week ago", they said.

North Korea believes its missile programme is the only way to deter Washington from trying to overthrow the Kim Jong-un regime. "We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who live him".

Warmbier was detained in January of 2016 at the airport in Pyongyang while he was on his way home. His parents say he's in a coma.

Otto Warmbier was jailed in March 2016 after confessing to attempting to steal a propaganda banner from a hotel in the secretive state's capital Pyongyang.

Despite his pleas, the college student was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

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