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Otto Warmbier's father thanks Trump administration

Otto Warmbier's father thanks Trump administration

Warmbier's father Fred lashed out earlier Thursday at the North Korean regime, saying he did not believe its claim that his son contracted botulism and fell into a coma shortly after being arrested previous year.

He arrived in the United States on Tuesday and is stable but "shows no sign of understanding language, responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surrounding", said Dr Daniel Kanter, medical director of the neuroscience intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, on Thursday.

Foreign nationals have also been detained on political grounds, including two USA university professors in Pyongyang who were arrested this year for allegedly plotting anti-state acts.

The elder Warmbier said he did not believe North Korea's explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

After Otto Warmbier, detained for more than a year in North Korea, returned home this week in a coma, the Trump administration is looking into ways to stop other Americans from going to North Korea.

A team of American doctors have found "no sign of botulism", despite officials from North Korea claiming the bacterial poisoning was the reason he had been in a coma for a year. He got 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner. He said the president called to find out "how Cindy and I were doing, and wanted to know about Otto".

Warmbier was released from the rogue country on Tuesday.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, was medically evacuated to the U.S. on Wednesday.

Fred Warmbier praised the Trump administration's efforts: "They have our thanks for bringing Otto home".

More news: Iran urges Gulf peace mechanism, says Saudi Arabia backing militants

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Otto Warmbier's doctors said he is breathing on his own but does not consistently respond to verbal cues.

"He has spontaneous eye opening and blinking", Dr. Daniel Kanter, who is head of the hospital's neurocritical care program, told reporters on Thursday. He suffered a "severe neurological injury", a University of Cincinnati Medical Center spokeswoman revealed Thursday.

The North Korean regime deemed him a "war criminal" and "brutalized and terrorized" him during his detainment, his father said.

This type of brain injury is usually seen as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest, meaning heart or lung malfunctions may have prevented oxygen from reaching the brain through a person's blood supply, causing brain tissue to die, he explained.

Otto Warmbier was a 21-year-old University of Virginia economics major with a bright future when he signed on for a short tourist trip to North Korea in December 2015.

Over the next five days, and after consulting Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson instructed Yun to travel to North Korea to negotiate Warmbier's release.

Two other Korean-Americans, both of them affiliated with the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a private institution run by Korean-American Christians, were detained this spring.

FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. Warmbier said he could "care less" about Rodman's trip.

It was widely speculated that Rodman would take up the issue of US citizens detained in North Korea.

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