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Principale » US student freed by North Korea in a coma dies at 22

US student freed by North Korea in a coma dies at 22

20 Juin 2017

Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was released by North Korea in a coma last week after more than a year in captivity, died Monday, his family said.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson says he's saddened and angry about the death of an American college student from OH who was released by North Korea in a coma last week.

He was transferred back to the USA in a coma, but had showed signs of severe neurological decline.

"According to preliminary reports from the Associated Press, President Trump's immediate response to the news was, "'Bad things" happened in "brutal' North Korea but at least American died at home with parents".

The 22-year-old "has completed his journey home", the family said in a statement.

"Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m", the Warmbier family said in a statement.

"It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost - future time that won't be spend with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds".

They added: "He was home and we believe he could sense that".

Mr Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy, said in a statement after his release that they had been told their son had been in a coma since March 2016, and that they had only learned that he was in that state weeks ago.

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The Republican senator says Warmbier was a promising young man who was kind, generous and accomplished. He was put before North Korean officials and journalists for a televised "confession".

The University of Virginia student was held for more than 17 months.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor. His parents were okay with his decision to go. "The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim". At first he was calm, and then he choked up, fell to tears, and pleaded desperately for help.

It remains unclear if his admission of guilt was forced, and whether he actually tried to remove the propaganda banner during his trip.

Earlier in the day, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton was asked during a briefing on the upcoming high-level security talks with China if the considering any retaliatory action against the North for mistreating Warmbier, but she avoided a direct answer. The country is clearly labelled as a unsafe place for Americans, even though nearly every traveller to the country returns unscathed.

There are three Americans who remain in North Korean custody.

At the meeting, North Korea agreed that Swedish diplomats could visit all four American detainees.

Warmbier's hometown rallied around his family, wrapping school-color ribbons around trees and utility poles lining Wyoming's main road.

At the time of Warmbier's release, a White House official said Joseph Yun, the US envoy on North Korea, had met with North Korean foreign ministry representatives in Norway the previous month.