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.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Developers gone wild? Toronto landmarks targeted with prank proposals

    Canada News CTV News
    Sure, Toronto's CN Tower is iconic. But wouldn't it look better with a 40-storey residential tower sticking out of the observation deck? And surely it's time for the city's century-old Casa Loma to remodel, so why not add a 30-storey tower onto one side? Source
  • Belfast bakery loses appeal over refusal of gay-rights cake

    World News CTV News
    BELFAST, Ireland -- A Belfast bakery has lost its appeal against a 2015 court ruling that the business discriminated against a homosexual customer by refusing to bake a cake bearing the message "support gay marriage. Source
  • France moving more than 6,000 migrants, destroying huge camp

    World News CTV News
    CALAIS, France -- Lines of migrants with their lives in small bags waited calmly to get on buses in the French port city of Calais on Monday, the first day of the mass evacuation and destruction of the squalid camp they called home. Source
  • Will Dennis Oland be acquitted of murder? Court of Appeal decision expected today

    Canada News CBC News
    The fate of Dennis Oland is expected to be decided today. The provincial Court of Appeal is tentatively scheduled to rule at 11 a.m. AT on whether it will overturn Oland's murder conviction in the 2011 death of his father, New Brunswick multimillionaire Richard Oland. Source
  • Iraq forces shell ISIS positions near Mosul

    World News CTV News
    BARTELLA, Iraq -- Iraqi forces shelled Islamic State positions outside Mosul on Monday as fighting to retake the extremist-held city entered its second week and a rights group urged a probe into a suspected airstrike that hit a mosque, killing over a dozen civilians. Source
  • Health Minister Jane Philpott to announce new food labelling, marketing regulations

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal Heath Minister Jane Philpott will announce today her government's plans to limit how unhealthy foods and beverages can be marketed to children. Another change will eventually see front of package labelling that will highlight if a product is high or low in certain nutrients such as sodium, sugar and saturated fats. Source
  • Iraq government investigating airstrike on mosque that left 13 dead

    World News CBC News
    Iraqi forces shelled Islamic State positions outside Mosul on Monday as fighting to retake the extremist-held city entered its second week and a rights group urged a probe into a suspected airstrike that hit a mosque, killing over a dozen civilians. Source
  • Walmart food waste caught on camera: 'They just toss it freely,' says former worker

    Canada News CBC News
    A former worker at almost a dozen Walmart stores in the Vancouver area is speaking out about what he calls "disturbing" food waste at the big retailer. Daniel Schoeler says on every shift at almost every store, he saw loads of what appeared to be perfectly good food dumped in the trash, even though Walmart say it only discards inedible food. Source
  • Wallonia's veto in trade deal about everything but Canada: Don Pittis

    Canada News CBC News
    Everyone calls it the Canada-EU trade deal, but in almost every way, European opposition to CETA really isn't about Canada at all. Understanding the motivation — and the disproportionate clout — of Belgium's French-speaking region that stands in the way of the deal requires some understanding of the strange politics of a country more divided along linguistic lines than Canada. Source
  • You're never going to retire — and here's why

    Canada News CBC News
    You're never going to retire. At least not in the way we have come to perceive retirement. For a while there, we had a pattern. You went to school, you worked and then you retired for a handful of years before your eternal demise. Source