Former NBA bad boy Rodman is back in North Korea

Paterniano Del Favero
Giugno 14, 2017

In a tearful statement made before his trial, Warmbier told a gathering of reporters in Pyongyang he was offered a used auto worth $10,000 if he could get a propaganda banner and was also told that if he was detained and didn't return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation.

Mr Warmbier, a student from the University of Virgina, went with his tour group to North Korea in January 2016.

He said in Beijing his aim is to try to "bring sports to North Korea".

North Korean officials had accused Warmbier of acting on behalf of a Methodist church in OH, his native state, as well as attempting to benefit the Central Intelligence Agency and the Z Society, a group at UVA.

During a one-hour trial in its Supreme Court on Wednesday, North Korea convicted Otto Warmbier of "hostile acts against the state" and sentenced him to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

The U.S. has no diplomatic relations in North Korea. "We get to see our son Otto tonight", Fred Warmbier said. Rob Portman, who represents Warmbier's home state of Ohio. "Over the last 18 months, they have had to endure more than any family should have to bear".

Former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, returning to the increasingly isolated nuclear-armed country where he has previously met leader Kim Jong Un. "However, we must have realistic expectations, and if the DPRK (North Korea) and USA governments wish to communicate or send messages, there are channels to do that", said Daniel Pinkston, a Troy University lecturer and expert on the Koreas, based in Seoul.

While it's unclear what the cybercurrency might be doing with Rodman in North Korea, past suggestions that the country is a "pothead paradise" are simply untrue, according to The Cannabist.

Last Thursday, North Korea launched what it described as newly developed land-to-ship cruise missiles able to accurately hit floating targets in the Sea of Japan.

Two of them, Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak-song, are academics who worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

A former Virginia man, Kim Dong-chul, was arrested shortly after Warmbier, this time on accusations of espionage, and has been held ever since.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he hoped the privacy of Warmbier's family would be respected "in the weeks and months ahead".

It was the fourth week in a row that North Korea has carried out a missile test.

Warmbier appeared emotional at a news conference organized by the North Koreans before his trial in March 2016.

"I never, never should have allowed myself to be lured by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country", Warmbier said.

It's not clear if he was forced to speak by the North Koreans.

After staying silent for more than a year, Warmbier's parents recently began speaking out about their son's case, granting interviews to Fox News and the Washington Post.

When they spoke to CNN on May 3, they said they had not seen or heard from Otto since his supposed confession. According to multiple reports, Warmbier is in a coma.

"I'm sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need", Rodman, who is known to have close ties with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, told reporters at Beijing's global airport before his departure to Pyongyang, when asked if he had spoken to U.S. President Donald Trump in advance.

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