Otto Warmbier, the University of Virgina student, who was released from North Korean imprisonment a few days ago was in a coma. CNN reported that after transferring to a hospital in the USA, he has now died. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in March 2016. He was accused of stealing a political propaganda poster from the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang. North Korea considered the crime to be an act of 'hostility against the state.'

The student had traveled to the country with a group of friends and wanted to celebrate New Year's Eve there.

The group was only there for a week with Young Pioneer Tours before the incident occurred. Everything appeared to be fine as the group of students were leaving the country. While at the airport waiting to board their flight, Warmbier was approached by officers who escorted him away. That would be the last time any of his friends would see him again. His friends proceeded on to their flight home, not being able to do anything to help him.

Warmbier pleaded for forgiveness during his sentencing in North Korea. He was handed down the harsh punishment of 15 years hard labor and was taken out of the courtroom. That was the very last time Warmbier was seen by anyone. The Swedish embassy who were acting as a go-between for the United States and North Korea had asked to see him while he was being held and they were denied access.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerman announced that Otta Warmbier was being released through the intervention by President Trump. No one knew the condition that the student would be in. It was soon discovered that he had been in a coma for months. According to North Korea, the coma was from getting botulism combined with being given unidentified sleeping medication, right after his sentencing.

Otto Warmbier left North Korea after being carried onto the plane to fly back to the United States.Upon arriving back in the U.S. he was admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with his family by his side. According to the doctors who were handing the case, they believed that Warmbier suffered extensive irreversible brain damage.

Doctors also believe that the student never had botulism. The exact cause of what happened to Warmbier is unknown and might not be discovered.


Fred and Cindy Warmbier, in a statement, said, "It is our sad duty to report that our son has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his family this afternoon he died." They went on to thank the Unversity of Cincinnati Medical Center staff for doing everything they could for their son.

Otto's parents also said," We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayer."