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

  • Man hurling racial slurs at Muslim women kills 2, injures 1 on Oregon train, police say

    World News Toronto Sun
    PORTLAND, Ore. — Two people died Friday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said. Source
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, dies

    World News CBC News
    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, has died. He was 89. His death was announced on social media Friday night by his daughter, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. She called him "the most inspiring, loving and devoted father any girl could ever have. Source
  • Tory leadership contenders make pitches for votes

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The last time Conservative party faithful gathered en masse in Toronto it was to hear from former leader and prime minister Stephen Harper. On Friday, they met in the same location, this time to hear from the 13 people vying to replace him. Source
  • 'Steady stream of garbage' left at B.C. lake after long weekend

    Canada News CBC News
    Residents of Cultus Lake ,B.C., are angry after the area was left covered in trash following Victoria Day weekend celebrations. One social media post of the lake, located just south of Chilliwack, B.C., showed empty bottles, garbage bags and junk food bags littered along the docks. Source
  • Alberta police seek man who steals lottery tickets, flees in stolen cars

    Canada News CTV News
    RED DEER, Alta. -- Police in central Alberta are looking for help to nab a man who steals trays of lottery tickets from convenience stores, then escapes in stolen vehicles. The man went into an Express 24 in Red Deer, Alta. Source
  • Jared Kushner had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy: sources

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, seven current and former U.S. Source
  • Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. Source
  • B.C. political parties very close to reaching deal, Green leader says

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Green Leader Andrew Weaver says he's very close to making a deal with either the Liberals and the New Democrats on forming a new minority government in British Columbia. He said negotiations between the parties have intensified since Elections BC confirmed the province's election results earlier this week with the Liberals holding 43 seats in the legislature to the NDP's 41 and the Greens' three. Source
  • Saskatchaheist: Beer destined for Prairie neighbour stolen from Edmonton holding yard

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    About $160,000 worth of beer destined for Saskatchewan was stolen from a holding yard in Edmonton earlier this month. Police said Friday that two semi-trucks and trailers filled largely with beer were stolen at around 7 p.m. Source
  • Tim Kaine’s son, 7 others charged for allegedly disrupting pro-Trump event

    World News Toronto Sun
    ST. PAUL, Minn. — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine’s youngest son was among eight people charged for allegedly disrupting a March rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump. Linwood “Woody” Kaine, of Minneapolis, was charged Friday with one gross misdemeanour count of obstructing the legal process and misdemeanour counts of fleeing on foot and concealing his identity in public. Source