US college student Otto Warmbier died just days after returning to the United States after spending 17 months imprisoned in North Korea, but the country's state-run media believes the real victim in Warmbier's death has been overlooked.
The news comes at North Korea claims its officials did not torture the 22-year-old American student - and said the hermit nation was the "biggest victim" in Warmbier's release and tragic death days later.
But after his parents say they heard nothing about their son for 15 months, the North Koreans last week allowed a State Department official to retrieve Warmbier.
Mr Warmbier was released earlier this month and returned to the US, where he was described as being in a "state of unresponsive wakefulness".
"Those who have absolutely no idea about how well we treated Warmbier under humanitarian conditions dare to utter "mistreatment" and "torture"," he said according to the official KCNA news agency.
"[It] compels us to make firm determination that. we should further sharpen the blade of law", he said, adding "the United States should ponder over the consequences to be entailed from its reckless and rash act".
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KCNA alleged that Warmbier received "humanitarian" treatment throughout his almost 18 months in custody, in accordance with North Korean law. Warmbier will be buried later in the day at a local cemetery.
Otto Warmbier speaks to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea.
The administration was already wrestling with option for containing an increasingly belligerent North Korea before the shocking return of a mortally wounded Warmbier. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor, but was sent home to OH on June 13 in a coma, dying days after his release, after spending 17 months in captivity. KCNA said the North dealt with him according to its domestic laws and global standards.
The North Korean foreign ministry said that Warmbier was a "victim.of strategic patience", the policy followed by Barack Obama's White House, which sought to avoid ramping up tensions with the Communist state.
More than 2,500 family, friends and well-wishers gathered for his funeral in OH on Thursday. "If we can try to figure something out, just open the door", Rodman suggested, saying that he believes "if Donald Trump had a chance", he would fly to North Korea to "make peace".
The Ohio native, 22, had been visiting North Korea as part of a tourist group in January 2016 when he was arrested for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.
The United States, South Korea and others often accuse North Korea of using foreign detainees to wrest diplomatic concessions.
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