USA student, freed from North Korea with neurological injury, was ‘brutalized’ – father

North Korea sentenced Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a banner as a joke.”We relied on this false premise that they would treat Otto fairly and let him go”, Fred Warmbier said.During the press conference – which was held at Wyoming High School, Otto Warmbier’s alma mater – Otto’s father, Fred Warmbier, noted the family has doubts about North Korea’s version of events.Warmbier said the Obama administration urged the family to maintain a low profile while the administration tried to retrieve Otto.”We don’t believe anything they say”.”We don’t believe anything that they say”, Fred said.The North Korean government claims Warmbier slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill and suffering from botulism.While some are quick to say that Otto Warmbier “should have known better”, one thing remains clear. According to Otto’s father, he has no idea why the totalitarian state chose to release his son, but said it wasn’t out of the “kindness of their hearts”.Warmbier’s release came after a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts between Washington and Pyongyang, which culminated in Joseph Yun, the State Department’s special envoy on North Korea, travelling to Pyongyang to secure Warmbier’s release.In a press conference Thursday, Dr. Daniel Kanter, professor of neurology and director of the Neurocritical Care Program, said Otto Warmbier has “severe injury to all regions of the brain” and described his current condition as “unresponsive wakefulness”. The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. News of his condition only reached the United States only a week before his release for, as the North Koreans put it, “humanitarian reasons”. (Reuters) “We’ve been we’ve been brutalized for the last 18 months with misinformation, no information”, “Do I think the past administration could have done more?” “But Otto, I love you and I’m so insane about you”.Fred Warmbier called his son’s return bittersweet. He told TIME that Warmbier’s return to the USA does not exempt North Korea from facing consequences going forward.”There’s no excuse for the way the North Koreans treated our son”, said Fred Warmbier, who was wearing the same jacket his son wore in Pyongyang in March past year when he appeared on TV and confessed to his “crimes” and begged for forgiveness.While they don’t know what caused the brain injury, Kanter said it could likely be the result of “cardio pulmonary arrest”.”His spirit is with us”, he added.