The University of Virginia student who has been imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year has been released, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Tuesday.
Tillerson said Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, is heading back to the United States after the State Department secured his release under President Trump’s orders. The terms of his release were not immediately clear.
Warmbier went to North Korea on a group tour and was arrested Jan. 2, 2016 as he prepared to depart from Pyongyang International Airport. The government alleged that he committed “act of hostility against the state” by stealing a propaganda sign from his hotel.
After officials paraded him in an emotional press conference, where Warmbier begged for forgiveness, he was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.
Tillerson noted that three other American citizens are being held in North Korea, and the State Department is still working for their release.