An American student imprisoned in North Korea after stealing a poster has been released from his 15-year sentence after 17 months and sent home in a coma.
Otto Warmbier, 22, from Cincinnati, in Ohio, is on his way back to the US, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.
The University of Virginia student was sentenced to 15 years hard labour for stealing a poster from his hotel on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
The Washington Post reports that Warmbier’s parents as saying he had been medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma.
According to reports, the North Koreans say he contracted botulism and doctors gave him a ‘sleeping pill’ from which he never woke up.
“Our son is coming home,” Fred Warmbier told the newspaper on Tuesday. “At the moment, we’re just treating this like he’s been in an accident. We get to see our son Otto tonight.”
Tillerson at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, declined to comment on Warmbier’s condition.