Student freed from North Korea suffered 'severe neurological injury'

It was earlier this year Warmbier and his wife, he said, decided they would no longer practice "strategic patience".

Warmbier's family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that Warmbier fell ill from botulism some time after his trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported.

Otto Warmbier was rushed to a Cincinnati hospital shortly after arriving from Pyongyang late Tuesday night. But now Warmbier's medical team is answering those questions.

The student's father, Fred Warmbier doesn't believe that his son's condition was caused by a sleeping pill and botulism, as told by North Korean officials.

He called on North Korea to release other American detainees.

The elder Warmbier gave a press conference Thursday wearing the same jacket that his son was photographed wearing at his last public appearance in March 2016, when he delivered a tearful - and likely scripted - confession to stealing a propaganda banner from his hotel in Pyongyang.

Fred Warmbier told the gathered reporters that he was proud of his son's adventurous side, the same adventurous nature that made him travel to North Korea in the first place. "No other family should have to endure what the Warmbiers have".

"The burden of our ordeal has been eased by the support we have experienced, not only from our friends in Cincinnati, but through OH, at the University of Virginia, throughout the United States and, indeed, from around the world", Warmbier said. He also called on North Korea to release the other Americans now imprisoned there. He told TIME that Warmbier's return to the US does not exempt North Korea from facing consequences going forward.

He noted that doctors said a lack of blood flow to Warmbier's brain occurred some time before April 2016, according to scans, which would be right after Warmbier was sentenced to hard labor in March 2016.

His parents released a statement saying, "We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea".

But he said the USA government had to respond forcefully if it was determined Mr Warmbier's condition was not disclosed "and he didn't get proper treatment".

Fred Warmbier also criticized the Obama administration, giving credit to President Trump for returning Otto to the United States. He said Trump was very kind and concerned about his son.

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