Ex-diplomat not expecting role in talks on detained U.S. student

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- A retired U.S. ambassador who used his connections to help negotiate the release of an American held by North Korea in 2014 said he doesn't expect to be involved in any talks with the country over a detained American student.

See Full Article

Tony Hall, a former diplomat and Ohio congressman, played a role in the release of Jeffrey Fowle, who was held by North Korea for nearly six months.

Hall told The Dayton Daily News that he does not anticipate being called on this time to lobby the North Korean government to release University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier.

Warmbier and Fowle are from southwest Ohio. Warmbier is from the Cincinnati area, and Fowle lives about 40 miles north in Miamisburg.

Hall said previously he got involved at the request of Fowle's family, Fowle's attorney and the U.S. Department of State, which led the push for Fowle's release.

In remarks published late Friday in the Dayton newspaper, Hall said the North Koreans don't give an inch.

"They are very, very tough people, and you've really got to understand them and their culture and the fact that they are a sovereign nation, and that's important to understand," he said.

Hall said the United States has little leverage with North Korea.

"One of the problems is we don't have a lot of leverage with North Korea because we don't have a relationship with them to speak of that's good," he said.

North Korea announced on Friday it arrested Warmbier for committing a "hostile act" orchestrated by the U.S.

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a presidential candidate, has said North Korea should provide evidence against Warmbier or let him go.

A China-based travel agency said Saturday that Warmbier was being held over an unspecified incident at his hotel before he was scheduled to board a flight for Beijing.

The CEO of Young Pioneer Tours, Gareth Johnson, confirmed via email Saturday that Warmbier had been staying at Pyongyang's Yanggakdo International Hotel and was not with other tourists when the incident occurred. The company statement said Warmbier was detained at the Pyongyang Airport on Jan. 2, but it didn't explain what happened at the hotel.

The company said an airport official told one of its guides after Warmbier was detained that he had been taken to a hospital. The guide attempted to go back to see him but was unable to as airport staff ushered her through immigration, the company said.

The U.S. and South Korea have been pushing for tough sanctions against the North over its latest nuclear test on Jan. 6. North Korea has detained a few Americans, South Koreans and other foreigners in recent years, accusing them of anti-North activities in what analysts say are attempts to wrest outside concessions.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • U.S.-led Mosul airstrike may have killed over 100 civilians

    World News CBC News
    Iraqi rescue workers continued pulling bodies from the rubble of a collapsed building in the al-Jadida neighbourhood of Western Mosul on Friday. According to eyewitnesses, the building, which was being used as a shelter by people fleeing ISIS militants, was hit by a coalition missile. Source
  • B.C. adds $150M to education, 1,500 new teachers after deal with union

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's education system will receive a $150-million funding boost after the province reached a deal with teachers to restore contract language that called for smaller class sizes. Education Minister Mike Bernier said the new classroom enhancement fund is in addition to the $180 million announced in this year's budget, bringing the total to $330 million. Source
  • Catherine Benton becomes first Mi'kmaq, female aboriginal judge in N.S.

    Canada News CTV News
    Standing on lands her people have inhabited for centuries, Catherine Benton took a historic oath on Friday, becoming both Nova Scotia’s first Mi'kmaq and female aboriginal judge. “I believe it's vital that the Mi'kmaq community and non-First Nation communities alike see Mi'kmaq people as competent, of value and respected for our contributions and perspectives,” Benton said during her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgewater, N.S. Source
  • Police in Mexican resort of Los Cabos find 3 bodies

    World News CTV News
    CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico -- Mexican authorities say the remains of three people have been found in the Pacific resort city of Cabo San Lucas. The Baja California Sur state prosecutor's office reports that the remains of two men and a woman were discovered late Thursday. Source
  • Death toll in Guatemala shelter fire rises to 41

    World News CTV News
    GUATEMALA CITY -- The death toll in a fire at a Guatemalan children's shelter has risen to 41 after another girl died of her injuries. The attorney general's office said Friday the girl died after being transferred for treatment to a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Source
  • Willie deWit, former heavyweight boxing champ, among new judicial appointments in Alberta

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Former Olympian and world amateur heavyweight boxing champ Willie deWit is among four new federally appointed judges announced Friday. DeWit, along with civil lawyer Michele Hollins, will replace two outgoing judges in Calgary Court of Queen's Bench. Source
  • One of Garland's four attackers pleads guilty

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    One of four men charged in the jailhouse beating of notorious killer Douglas Garland was sentenced Friday to four months for his role in the attack. Connor Skipper, 20, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault causing bodily harm in connection with the Feb. Source
  • Some parts of Obamacare working well but others are not

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Once again, "Obamacare" has survived a near-death experience. It won't be the end of the political debate, but House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledges, "We're going to be living with 'Obamacare' for the foreseeable future. Source
  • Black man arrested in S.C. for writing racist graffiti

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Police in South Carolina say a 19-year-old black man spray-painted racist, misogynistic and anti-gay graffiti on three buildings, including a library named for one of the black victims of the Charleston church shootings. A police report says the graffiti left at the Cynthia Hurd Library on March 13 targeted black women, the police and white people. Source
  • National park beach closed in B.C. after wolf attacks dog

    Canada News CTV News
    UCLUELET, B.C. -- A popular section of beach along the West Coast of Vancouver Island has been closed after a wolf attacked a dog in a national park. Parks Canada says in a release that a section of Wickaninnish Beach is temporarily closed and dogs are banned following an attack on a dog in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Ucluelet, B.C. Source