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Principale » US coroner investigating death of student freed from N Korea

US coroner investigating death of student freed from N Korea

21 Juin 2017

In the CBS interview, Moon said that while "we can not know for sure that North Korea killed Mr Warmbier".

"Unfortunately, the terrible torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible".

It jars so strikingly with the fates of most past detained Americans that outside observers are left struggling not only with the mystery of what killed Warmbier but also with what his death means for attempts by Washington and its allies to stop North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear-tipped ICBM that can target the US mainland. They say he had severe brain damage but they don't know what caused it.

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

Warmbier was arrested while visiting as a tourist and accused of trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean media.

"I have made the worst mistake of my life!" he exclaimed, choking up as he begged to be allowed to reunite with his parents and two younger siblings.

His family said it was told he fell into a coma soon after his March 2016 sentencing after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

In their statement Monday, Otto's family said they believed he had found a peace of sorts after being flown home.

Doctors said he suffered extensive loss of brain tissue and "profound weakness and contraction" of his muscles, arms and legs. His eyes opened and blinked, but without signs of understanding verbal commands or his surroundings.

Unresponsive wakefulness is a new medical term for persistent vegetative state.

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Korean-Americans Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song, who worked at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, were recently detained for hostile acts against the government, according to North Korea's state media.

Warmbier's parents released a statement after his death on Monday.

US President Donald Trump blamed the "brutality of the North Korean regime" for Warmbier's death. He was salutatorian of his 2013 class at a highly rated high school and was on the soccer team.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman said North Korea should be "universally condemned for its abhorrent behavior".

Warmbier had planned to study in China in his third year of college and heard about Chinese travel companies offering trips to North Korea. The U.S. government accuses North Korea of using such detainees as political pawns.

North Korea said last month it was its sovereign right to " ruthlessly punish" USA citizens it had detained for crimes against the state.

Moon said in an interview with CBS television broadcast Tuesday that Warmbier's death showed "we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime", but talks are still necessary because "we were unable to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through only the sanctions and pressure". While almost all Americans who have been there have left without incident, visitors can be seized and face lengthy incarceration for what might seem like minor infractions.

The following year, Jeffrey Fowle, 56, admitted hiding a Korean bible in a social club in the northern port city of Chongjin, in defiance of a strict ban. Fowle was freed after six months. Still, opponents will question whether such negotiations may give the North more time to expand its nuclear weapons program.

Some observers believe that North Korea became anxious because Warmbier's condition suddenly worsened.

North Korea is expected to top the agenda when United States and Chinese officials sit down in Washington, DC for a series of high-level diplomatic talks.