22-year-old American student Otto Frederick Warmbier, who was released after 17 months in police custody in North Korea, is in a coma, according to The Washington Post. According to the publication, Otto has been in a coma for more than a year, since his last appearance in the Pyongyang court in March 2016. Warmbier will be taken through the U.S. military base in Japan, then will be delivered to his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Warmbier was arrested by police at the airport of Pyongyang in January 2016. According to Otto's parents, he had been on a tour in North Korea.

A week ago, Joe Yun said 22-year-old Otto contracted a deadly disease named botulism last year and suffered from bad health. A senior State Department official told CNN that while suffering from the disease he went into a coma after taking sleeping pills.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment

An American student from the state of Virginia was sentenced on March 16 by the DPRK Supreme Court to 15 years in prison with serving a sentence in a corrective labor colony. He was accused of trying to "undermine the unity of the Korean people".

The student arrived in North Korea on December 25, 2015, from Beijing as part of a tourist group. According to the North Korean authorities, the boy was caught in the security footage while stealing the political slogan banner from his hotel's walls.

On June 13, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the State Department achieved the liberation of the American. CBS describes the reaction of the inhabitants of the city where Otto Warmbier grew up. His neighbors decorated the streets with white and blue cents - in the colors of the school where the student was studying.

17 months in Coma

The fact that Warmbier has been in a coma for 17 months became known last month when his name surfaced in the framework of ongoing negotiations in Oslo with the participation of former high-ranking US officials and North Korean officials and diplomats on resolving differences over nuclear issues. Representatives of Sweden, who act as guarantors of the negotiations, allowed to see an American sentenced to prison terms in the DPRK.

After that, Pyongyang's representatives came out with an initiative to release a seriously ill student in exchange for some concessions from Washington. The US State Department claims that as a result, Warmbier was released without any conditions.

Warmbier is in a coma for more than a year and urgently needs proper medical care, Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico, who keeps in touch with the student's family and spoke as a negotiator with the official Pyongyang, told reporters.