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Trump calls Warmbier's death 'total disgrace'

21 Juin 2017

Mr Trump said that a "lot of bad things happened" to Mr Warmbier, but added: "At least we got him home to be with his parents, where they were so happy to see him, even though he was in a very tough condition".

President Donald Trump called Warmbier's death a "total disgrace" on Monday and indirectly blamed former President Barack Obama for not negotiating his release during his term.

Other high-profile tour operators who take travelers to North Korea also said this week that they are "reviewing" their policies regarding traveling Americans in the wake of Warmbier's death, The Associated Press reported.

The China-based travel agency that organized a trip to North Korea for an American college student who died after being released in a coma from North Korean detention said it would no longer take USA citizens to the country.

Warmbier's parents haven't cited a cause of death, but "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea.

The funeral for Warmbier will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday at Wyoming High School, where he was an athlete and salutatorian of his 2013 class.

His tweet comes a day after learning that Otto Warmbier, an American student who was returned from North Korea to the U.S.in a coma last week, had died.

Mr Warmbier had suffered severe brain damage, and was medically evacuated from North Korea on 13 June to a hospital in his home city of Cincinnati, Ohio. "The results would have been a lot different".

If the North Koreans were smart they would release them all to atone for what they did with Otto [Warmbier], as a sign of contrition, a human rights gesture.

His death led to strong condemnations of the regime and speculation about the implications.

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Otto's father blasted Obama during a news conference at the tie of his son's release, when cued up with a question as to what more could have been done to secure Otto's release before Trump entered the White House.

The Warmbier family confirmed on Monday that he had died.

"If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will", Trump told the Financial Times in April.

While Beijing may attempt to use such leverage to free Americans in the North, its influence is limited, said Jin Qianyi, a professor at Yanbian University's Institute of Northeast Asia Studies, which sits along the border with North Korea. He was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labour.

While the State Department has strongly warned against any travel to North Korea for years, at least 17 Americans have been detained in the past 10 years - three are still now imprisoned.

There was no immediate word from the family about why relatives declined an autopsy, which may have shed more light on the cause of the neurological injuries that left him in a coma.

Sen. Rob Portman of OH also had tough words for North Korea.

But around the time Spicer said that, Trump tweeted he appreciated China's efforts but "it has not worked out". "It puts us in a really precarious situation when Americans are detained there".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called Warmbier's death a "tragedy".

Three other Americans are still imprisoned in North Korea, accused of crimes against the Pyongyang regime.

Trump calls Warmbier's death 'total disgrace'