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Sen. Brown, Gov. Kasich, Former UN Ambassador Richardson Urge Ohio College Student's Release

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Otto Warmbier

A Lawmaker, Ohio’s Governor and a former U.N. ambassador all are calling on North Korea to release a Cincinnati-area man. Otto Warmbier is a University of Virginia undergraduate sentenced Wednesday to 15 years’ hard labor by the Communist government. 

Governor John Kasich called for Otto Warmbier’s immediate release following his sentence to 15 years’ hard labor.  Warmbier admits he tried to steal a North Korean propaganda banner. 

Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown says he’s keeping close tabs on the 21-year-old’s detention.

“My heart breaks for his family.  We continue to talk to the State Department,” Brown says.

Former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson says he met with North Korean diplomats Tuesday to request Warmbier’s release.  Richardson said based on past experience, North Korea could release Warmbier soon, but current U.S.-North Korea tensions could hurt those prospects.