Thomas Shannon, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, said in Seoul that Joseph Yun - the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, in charge of dealing with the country's nuclear and missile programs - was behind Tuesday's evacuation of Otto Warmbier.
Mr Warmbier's release came as former United States 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.
During his 18-month incarceration, the Warmbiers heard from Otto only once, through a letter on March 2, 2016.
A plane carrying Warmbier arrived around 10:20 p.m. CT Tuesday at Cincinnati's Lunken Airport.
"Everybody feels a sense of relief that he is coming back to the United States", resident Amy Mayer said before he arrived. 'We learned of this only one week ago.
Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was "suffering from very severe financial difficulties".
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Warmbier is now on his way home to OH, with a State Department representative, to be reunited with his family.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman says North Korea should be "universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior".
"For North Korea to imprison Otto with no notification or consular access for more than a year is the utmost example of its complete failure to recognize fundamental human rights and dignity".
The detention of Americans, often sentenced to draconian prison sentences for seemingly small offenses in the totalitarian nation, has compounded tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Rodman was seen at Beijing International Airport and flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Tuesday, CNN reported.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea's Supreme Court in March 2016. According to Warmbier's parents, their son was medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma, which he has reportedly been in for over a year after falling ill to botulism and then being given a sleeping pill. They say North Koreans told USA authorities that their son contracted botulism and never awoke after he was given a sleeping pill.
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Pyongyang accused him of supporting the USA hostile policy against the DPRK and undermining the unity of the DPRK people.
Warmbier's release came as former United States 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. The official referred to them as "hostages".
North Korea has a track record of detaining South Korean and American travelers, and using them as diplomatic leverage in negotiations with the detainees' home countries.
"We strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea", Nauert said.
North Korea announced Warmbier's arrest in late January 2016, saying he committed an anti-state crime with "the tacit connivance of the USA government and under its manipulation". A department of state spokeswoman said the former basketball player had nothing to do with Warmbier's release.
Parallel to that track, basketball showman Rodman arrived Tuesday in Pyongyang wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of a cryptocurrency set up for marijuana marketers. Thousands of USA troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. A 2009 visit by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.
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On the release of Warmbir said Tuesday, June 13, U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson.
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