Bill Richardson said Tuesday the North Koreans must "in no uncertain terms" explain the reason why an American student released from their custody is in a coma.
On arriving in Cincinnatti's Lunken Airport, Warmbier was transferred to a waiting ambulance that rushed him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for urgent treatment, Fox News reported. He was sentenced to 15 years with hard labor after an hour-long trial. The next month he gave a tearful public confession, and that March he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for a "hostile act" against the state.
We said, at the time of Mr. Warmbier's arrest and conviction, that North Korea has a history of obtaining worldwide prisoners who later can be used as political bargaining chips.
Tillerson told U.S. senators at the start of a budget hearing that the State Department had no comment on Warmbier's condition "out of respect for him and his family".
University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan said the whole UVA community was relieved to learn of Warmbier's release but was "deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma".
Hours after his release, the U.S. government blamed Pyongyang for cyber attacks stretching back to 2009 and warned more were likely.
A plane carrying Warmbier returned to the United States on Tuesday night.
Warmbier's release came as American retired professional basketball star Dennis Rodman started his five-day visit to the DPRK, a country he had visited four times before, raising speculation whether his non-official visit was connected with the release of the detained student.
A senior administration official said the Trump administration did not authorize Rodman's trip.
Saulnier and Warmbier met the summer before their freshman year at Virginia. He was freed Tuesday. He is on medevac flight on his way home.
Warmbier is from the Cincinnati suburb Wyoming.
"Everybody feels a sense of relief that he is coming back to the United States", resident Amy Mayer said before he arrived.
Coincidentally (or not), Dennis Rodman is now in North Korea.
But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the visit "had nothing to do with the release". His parents say he's in a coma.
But the important thing in the immediate future is Mr. Warmbier's health.More news: Blue Shark Captured After Mallorca Beach Sighting
Otto F. Warmbier, a US college student held prisoner in North Korea for more than a year, has been medically evacuated from the reclusive country in a coma and is on his way back to the United States, according to a statement from his parents.
"During his time in our country, US citizen Kim Sang Duk attempted to overthrow the state, a hostile crime".
Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare.
"Since March 2, no one has seen or heard from Otto".
But deplaning in North Korea wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with PotCoin.com made it clear that his earlier "basketball diplomacy" ventures with North Korea have now morphed into what some internet wags described as "weed diplomacy". This is the first time the Swedish diplomats were allowed to visit with Warmbier.
"Joe Yun went to Pyongyang (Monday) to accompany Mr. Warmbier", Shannon told reporters after a meeting with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung Nam. Warmbier was evacuated Tuesday. Things took a turn for the worse while he was on a trip to North Korea.
Otto Warmbier was studying commerce and economics.
Warmbier would have graduated in May.
"With tensions as high as they are, we felt that we needed to talk about Otto and put a face on the person", Cindy Warmbier said. He said that over the past 18 months, Warmbier's family has "had to endure more than any family should have to bear". He flew home Tuesday in a coma-like state, according to some media reports.
Sen. Rob Portman of OH said in a statement that Tillerson had confirmed to him Warmbier's release. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland said the country's "despicable actions. must be condemned".
Meanwhile, the ministry said that it has approved three more requests by local civic groups to contact North Koreans, raising the total to 21.
In a statement, they said: "We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalised and terrorised by the pariah regime".
They also said they are grateful he "will finally be with people who love him". The State Department would not comment on Warmbier's condition, citing privacy concerns.
Mr Warmbier's release came as former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, returning to the nuclear-armed country where he met leader Kim Jong-un on previous visits. He says in a statement that the State Department secured Warmbier's release at the direction of President Donald Trump.
Tillerson said the State Department is still working to secure the release of three other USA citizens detained in North Korea.