We need answers from North Korea — Ex-UN ambassador

Former US basketball star Dennis Rodman shakes hands with a North Korean official as he departs at Pyongyang

It took months of "quiet diplomacy", a change in US presidents and an American diplomat's extraordinary, secret visit to Pyongyang to bring Otto Warmbier home.

Rodmans visit notably coincided with the release of Otto Warmbier, a USA college student imprisoned by North Korea previous year who was allowed to return home this week for “humanitarian reasons” after 15 months in detention. The last such visit is believed to have been in November 2014, when former National Intelligence Director James Clapper brought home two other jailed Americans. He was sentenced to 15 years' hard labor after issuing a confession, which his father said sounded forced.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson is demanding answers from Pyongyang after an American held prisoner in North Korea for more than year was returned to the U.S.in a coma last week.

Warmbier, 22, spent nearly a year-and-a-half in captivity after being arrested in January 2016.

The contact began with back channels more than a year ago, the USA has no official diplomatic relationship with North Korea.

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What happened next, and how Warmbier ended up in a coma, is still unclear. But the family has dismissed that explanation. If Warmbier is to recover - and that's a very big if - it will require numerous surgeries to different parts of his brain.

This time, he met with North Korea's sports minister and presented gifts to be passed on to Kim.

"North Korea has a lot of explaining to do".

The condition that Warmbier was in could cause some problems for any ongoing talks between the USA and North Korea. It's unclear if he and Kim will meet in person.

Rodman also visited iconic North Korean monuments and coached a women's basketball team. Over the next days, officials said, Tillerson and Trump discussed the case. They didn't tell us in our meetings with the North Koreans in NY, 20 times in the a year ago. "I'm so upset at the way they behaved with Otto, because I got personally involved with this". "We're trying to open doors between both countries".

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Yun boarded a private aircraft along with two doctors and arrived last Monday in Pyongyang, where they were met by North Korean officials and saw Warmbier in a hospital.

Richardson can certainly sympathize with the grieving father, but he said Warmbier's prolonged incarceration wasn't for lack of effort by the Obama White House. The next day, Warmbier was flown to a USA base in Japan before making the longer journey to OH to be reunited with his family.

USA diplomats have held secret meetings with a senior North Korean official for over a year, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. He hasn't spoken to the media since returning and USA officials have referred most questions to Warmbier's family.

The North is now holding three other USA citizens. The U.S. wouldn't publicly describe their condition.

North Korean negotiator Choi Sun Hee has been working with the US for a long time, meeting with diplomats from the administrations of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. "A really good trip", Dennis Rodman said upon his return. In an emotional news conference in OH, the father did not demur when asked if Obama could have done more. "At no stage did I ever think he was anything but a very, very polite kid", he said.

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