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Doctors: Ex-North Korea Detainee Otto Warmbier Has Severe Brain Injury

An American college student who emerged from prison in North Korea in a coma has severe brain damage, but doctors don’t know what caused it, a medical team treating him in OH has said.Otto has been in a coma for more than a year, has extensive brain damage, and is unresponsive to his surroundings, according to the doctors treating him. Doctors say he opens his eyes and blinks spontaneously, but that there is no indication that he understands language nor does he respond to verbal commands. In a news conference Thursday, doctors called his condition “unresponsive wakefulness”, and revealed he had suffered significant brain damage during his imprisonment.While Warmbier was held, the United States consistently urged North Korea to allow Sweden consular access to Warmbier and three other American citizens, and pushed for their release.At a news conference earlier on Thursday, the detainee’s father, Fred Warmbier, said they are left with many questions, and no answers.He was sentenced to 15 years in a labour camp after a one-hour trial in March 2016.And at a further meeting in NY on June 6, Yun learned of Warmbier’s medical condition for the first time, said spokeswoman Heather Nauert, outlining the release effort.Fred Warmbier, the father, told media he did not buy the story.When asked whether then-President Barack Obama could have done more, Warmbier replied, “I think the results speak for themselves”.Fred Warmbier expressed gratitude for the United States administration’s efforts in his son’s favour, and said he spoke personally with President Donald Trump late Wednesday night.His parents learned of their son’s condition – what North Korea called a coma – only last week, they said in a statement.Dr Daniel Kanter added: “We have no certifiable knowledge of the cause or circumstances of his neurological injuries. We have supported the heck out of one another”, Warmbier said. When asked whether it could be the result of beating or other violence while in prison, they said that Warmbier did not show any obvious indications of trauma, nor evidence of either acute or healing fractures.Ned Price says the Democratic president’s administration “worked through every avenue available” to try to secure the release of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier (WORM’-bir). Regardless, he said there’s “no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top-notch medical care for so long”. Otto Warmbier visited North Korea as part of a tour organized by a Chinese-based company.Warmbier’s father noted that the State Department under Trump administration “was negotiating pretty tough with them”.”The North Koreans lure Americans to travel to North Korea via tour groups run out of China, who advertise slick ads on the Internet claiming no American ever gets detained off of our tours, and this is a safe place to go”.The younger Warmbier, an honors student at the University of Virginia who grew up in this small city adjacent to Cincinnati, is being evaluated by doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.This is the Otto I know and love.But Warmbier cited two factors that he feels precipitated his son’s release: the arrival of the Trump administration, and the efforts of Joseph Yun, the State Department’s point man on North Korea.Reuters reports that there have been 17 cases of US tourists being detained in North Korea in the past decade.Instead, he spent 17 months there in detention where his family believes he was tortured into a coma.