Dennis Rodman's Bizzaro Dance with the Monster of North Korea

The 56-year-old NBA Hall of Famer, who was heavily criticized for failing to raise the plight of a jailed USA missionary on a previous trip, said discussing detained USA citizens was "not my objective right now".

The North Koreans later urgently requested another meeting in NY. And how does the Trump administration respond?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the release and said Washington remained in talks with the isolated regime "regarding three other U.S. citizens reported detained". "In no uncertain terms, North Korea must explain the causes of his coma".

Warmbier was flown out of North Korea on the same day that Dennis Rodman, the controversial former basketball star, arrived for his fifth visit to Pyongyang.

A senior Trump Administration official told Fox News that Rodman was going to the North "as a private citizen".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also said it was "just too soon to say" whether Warmbier's release could lead to more dialogue by Washington and Pyongyang. He is looking to increase economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, with help from China but has said he's open to meeting Kim. He was charged with "hostile acts against the state".

The release of Otto Warmbier, 18 months into a 15-year sentence, came as US President Donald Trump invited South Korea's new leader Moon Jae-In to Washington for talks on the nuclear standoff.

He had not been seen in public since.

Since taking office in January, Trump has faced a growing national security challenge from North Korea, which has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of United States and global sanctions.

He added that because America has no trade with North Korea, the most effective way to impose pressure is through "secondary sanctions" that threaten companies from third countries with losing access to the United States market if they deal with Pyongyang.

After the Swedish diplomats met with the detained Americans, the North Koreans urgently asked to have a meeting with the U.S.in NY.

But back in Pyongyang, the Swedes were allowed to see only one detainee, and it wasn't Warmbier.

Tillerson says the State Department continues discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea. There they told Yun about Warmbier's condition.

Thousands of USA troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. In 2014, Rodman arranged a basketball game with other former NBA players and North Koreans and regaled leader Kim with a rendition of "Happy Birthday".

"Let me reiterate this: We strongly, strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea", Nauert said. "American and medical officials would get out". Yun insisted on Warmbier's immediate release on humanitarian grounds, officials said, and the North Koreans agreed.

Yun arrived in Pyongyang early Monday with two USA physicians. Fowle left a Bible in a local club hoping a North Korean would find it, which is considered a criminal offence in North Korea.

Before arriving this time, Rodman told reporters that Trump would be happy with the trip because he was "trying to accomplish something that we both need", prompting speculation that he may be operating as an unofficial envoy.

He was given a sleeping pill and had been in a coma ever since, the newspaper said. Mr Warmbier's family said in a statement that he is in a coma and on his way home.

Otto Warmbier, 22, is now on his way back to the United States where he will be reunited with his family, Tillerson said in a statement.

The official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no formal statement had been released, said he could not provide further details.

A small group of family friends were nearby to celebrate Mr Warmbier's arrival, cheering and holding signs that read "Pray for Otto" and "Welcome home Otto", according to the witness.

U.S. student Otto Warmbier is hospitalized in Cincinnati after he was returned from North Korea.

Lee said South Korea is also making efforts to seek the release of its own citizens now held in North Korea.

South Korea-born Kim Dong Chul, now aged around 63 or 64, was arrested in October 2015 on charges of espionage and other undisclosed crimes.

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