Dennis Rodman gifts Trump book to North Korean minister

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

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

When it works, "it's a brilliant propaganda coup", for the regime, he said.

Right before he was flown back to the US, the regime revealed he had been in a coma due to botulism since a day after his sentencing in March 2016.

Tensions have escalated on the Korean peninsula over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests and its vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the USA mainland, presenting U.S. President Donald Trump with perhaps his most pressing security worry. The goal of the talks was to negotiate the release of USA prisoners and to attempt to establish a diplomatic channel to constrain North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Upon arriving in his home state of OH on Tuesday, the 22-year-old was taken straight to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where doctors said he suffered severe tissue loss in his brain.

The US government has issued travel warnings to Americans against going to North Korea. "And that deal has got to involve a reduction of their missile activity - termination of that, possibly - and in exchange, China, U.S., Russia, all of us, have got to probably give them some food, some energy assistance - I think eventually diplomacy".

"This is not a very good situation to try to improve the relations with North Korea, when they treat our people like this", he added, reminding three other political prisoners remain there.

Doctors in Cincinnati are continuing to evaluate Warmbier's condition, but say he has experienced significant brain damage.

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USA and North Korean officials said Rodman played no role in freeing Warmbier and the timing of the release and Rodman's arrival was a coincidence.

From journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee to missionary Kenneth Bae, most Americans detained by the North have been released after high-profile interventions.

Although the U.S. policy does not ban its citizen from visiting North Korea, the U.S. State Department strongly advises against it. Former President Barack Obama had a much more limited engagement with the North Korean regime, employing a policy called "strategic patience".

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

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has returned from what he described as a "really good" trip to North Korea, though it is unknown if during his fifth visit to the hermit state he met with its leader, Kim Jong-un, who he once called "a friend for life".

"Pyongyang timed the release to deliver a message to Washington".