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The Wall Street Journal: U.S. reveals diplomatic mission to retrieve comatose student from North Korea

The White House secretly sent a diplomatic mission to North Korea this week to recover a U.S. citizen who the Trump administration had learned was in a life-threatening coma, senior U.S. officials said, an episode more likely to inflame escalating tensions than not.

The imprisoned American, University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, was sentenced early last year to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly defacing a political poster while on a private tour of North Korea. The 22-year-old’s dire health condition, U.S. officials said, risked escalating a standoff between Washington and Pyongyang, fueled by North Korea’s advancing nuclear-weapons program and repeated ballistic missile tests.

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