Former NBA star Dennis Rodman made an appearance on Friday's "Good Morning America" and essentially took credit for North Korea's release of Otto Warmbier, an American college student imprisoned in the country for 18 months.
"This college kid never should have been detained in the first place", said Portman, who met secretly with North Korean officials in NY last December to press for Warmbier's release. He had suffered a severe neurological injury from an unknown cause, according to his doctors. On Friday, ABC's Michael Strahan sat down with the onetime Chicago Bull to talk about the freaky trip, which coincided with the release of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old University of Virginia student held in detention for 17 months after allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster in Pyongyang.
"Our relevant agencies treat all criminals. thoroughly in accordance with domestic laws and global standards and Warmbier was not an exception", a spokesman for the National Reconciliation Council said.
Warmbier was charged with "hostile acts" towards the North and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, but was released and medically evacuated 17 months later.
North Korean officials claimed that Warmbier's coma was caused by botulism and a sleeping pill, though doctors found no evidence of the disease, and believe he was beaten until he went into cardiopulmonary arrest. Over 2000 people attended the funeral to pay their respects to the 22-year old student who lost his life to the brutal regime of North Korea.
"The US should ponder over the consequences to be entailed from its reckless and rash act", he added, possibly an allusion to the three Korean-Americans now imprisoned by North Korean authorities. "At least I know China tried!"
North Korea is known for illegally detaining USA citizens on false allegations of spying and anti-state crimes.
Rodman said the country has changed over the course of his visits, saying "we've seen a lot of changes", including "the fact that it is so modernized now".
The 22-year-old died on June 19, prompting a furious response from the U.S. government.
The spokesman didn't describe how Hunziker died, but claimed that the United States then "totally ignored" his death. He said North Korea's treatment of Warmbier demonstrated "a basic disregard for human rights, for human dignity".
Volo added that they have contacted the family and are hoping to meet them, "but we were told that, you know, it just couldn't happen".
I'm not a fan of the Obama administration but this is just pure propaganda.
The United States pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programmes during a round of high-level talks in Washington yesterday.