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Dennis Rodman wraps up visit to PYONGYANG

"Everybody's going to be happy", Rodman said upon arriving in Beijing, China.

North Korea's notoriously cruel regime admitted Warmbier had been in a coma for the better part of a year and ascribed his critical condition to botulism and his taking of a sleeping pill.

He said his own Santa Fe-based Richardson Center for Global Engagement sent a three-member American delegation to Pyongyang last November with the Obama administration's endorsement, offering humanitarian and flood assistance and privately raised cash to pay for the return of USA soldiers' remains from the Korean War in exchange for the release of Warmbier. Over the next days, officials said, Tillerson and Trump discussed the case.

Otto Warmbier is in stable condition but has a severe neurological injury, University of Cincinnati Medical Center officials said at a Thursday morning press conference. He was never contacted by the USA government or the tour company that arranged the visit. The college student was accused of stealing a propaganda banner from the Pyongyang hotel he was staying in and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor during a one-hour trial in March 2016.

Madame Choi, director-general of the North America affairs bureau of North Korea's Foreign Ministry, had herself been involved with nuclear weapons negotiations during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, US officials told the WSJ.

"This is not a very good situation to try to improve the relationship with North Korea when they treat our people like this", Richardson said. While thousands travel to North Korea each year and return safely, Warmbier's story shows there's a bad price to be paid for some. On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized. Though Richardson said that Warmbier's condition could further complicate relations between the US and North Korea.

Three more American citizens remain in North Korean custody.

"It is not good if you go back and start selling stories about suffering and torture as that will damage North Korea's global standing", he said.

New details that emerged last week about Yun's brief visit to the North Korean capital illustrate the deep level of estrangement between the US 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.

The New America Foundation is a think tank in Washington and DiMaggio helped set up the latest talks with North Korea.

"This will lead to a continued stalemate with more sanctions", Richardson said.



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