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Principale » Public funeral planned for US student freed from North Korea

Public funeral planned for US student freed from North Korea

21 Juin 2017

President Donald Trump has called the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea for for nearly a year and a half, a "disgrace".

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he had spoken with Warmbier's family and praised them as "incredible".

Mr. Trump also referred to Warmbier's death as "a total disgrace." American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea.

President Trump similarly asserted this week, "the results would have been different" had Otto been brought home sooner; he did not elaborate, but did add, "he should have been brought home that day".

The college student died Monday, shortly after his return to OH after being held for more than 17 months.

Wambier's parents did not cite a specific cause of death, but cited "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea.

There was no immediate word from the family about why relatives opted not to perform an autopsy, which may have shed more light on the cause of the neurological injuries Warmbier suffered in North Korea.

Warmbier was arrested in Pyongyang in January 2016 and accused of trying to swipe a propaganda poster from a hotel.

In March 2016, Kim Dong Chul, a 62-year-old Korean-American missionary, was sentenced to 10 years of hard labour for subversion.

The family's public statements indicate that they feel the previous administration could have and should have done more for their son, who chose to visit North Korea despite warnings from the Department of State instructing American citizens to avoid travel to North Korea.

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Experts on southeast Asian relations have pointed out that China is the country best positioned to confront Kim, because of its proximity to North Korea and the essential economic support it provides the country.

"It is a brutal regime and we'll be able to handle it", said Trump.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the USA should think about banning US citizens from visiting North Korea.

Three other Americans are still being held captive in North Korea.

In South Korea, recently elected President Moon Jae-in denounced North Korea for its "deplorable" lack of regard for human rights, "universal norms and values of humanity".

Such a move by Beijing would hurt the North Korean economy "but also be lifted based on their compliance", Delury wrote on Twitter, saying Chinese actions would be more effective than a ban.

North Korean authorities said Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

Coroner Dr Lakshmi Sammarco said in the statement the student's family stated it did not want an autopsy to be completed after an external examination.

Warmbier's release came amid mounting tensions with Washington following a series of missile tests by Pyongyang, focusing attention on an arms buildup that Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has dubbed "a clear and present danger to all". The governor says Warmbier's family showed strength and courage through a bad ordeal.

Even before Warmbier's release and death, Moon and Trump were scheduled to coordinate on North Korea during their meetings.