North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has pushed the world to the brink of war.
He’s tested limits with his nuclear weapons program and with holding American citizens hostage.
But he never expected this one thing to happen.
North Korea has held American Otto Warmbier for over a year.
The University of Virginia student was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.
When Warmbier was returned, it was discovered that he has been in a coma for over a year.
The North Koreans claimed he contracted botulism, but critics believe rough treatment by the rogue nation’s security forces put him in that condition.
Before Warmbier’s release, Jong Un was paid a surprise visit.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman traveled to North Korea.
And he came bearing gifts.
He presented the North Korean dictator with a copy of Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” book.
Business Insider reports:
“North Korea (AP) — Dennis Rodman has delivered a message from President Donald Trump to North Korea — sort of.
On Thursday, the former NBA player gave the country’s sports minister a copy of Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” a present intended for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
It wasn’t signed by Trump, who was Rodman’s boss for two seasons of the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality TV show. Rodman has said his visit has nothing to do with the White House.”
Did Rodman’s visit and gift have any effect on Warmbier’s release?
The answer is no.
Business Insider reports talks surrounding Warmbier’s release had been going on for some time:
“Rodman’s arrival on Tuesday came just hours after the North decided to release Otto Warmbier, an American university student who had been imprisoned for 15 years with hard labor for trying to steal a propaganda banner.
Warmbier, who had been confined for 17 months, has apparently fallen into a coma not long after his confinement began and Pyongyang issued a statement Thursday saying it decided to let him go for “humanitarian reasons.”
Officials in Washington and Pyongyang said Rodman played no role in the release. Behind-the-scenes discussions regarding Warmbier had been underway well before his visit.
The 22-year-old Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was convicted and sentenced in a one-hour trial in North Korea’s Supreme Court in March 2016. He got 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal the propaganda banner.”
But the North Korean government is still holding three other American citizens.
Trump will have some more “Art of the Deal” work to do.