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Korea denies torturing USA student Warmbier

24 Juin 2017

A USA diplomat who traveled to North Korea to secure the release of American college student Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) plans to attend his funeral in OH on Thursday.

According to the unnamed official, the fact that Warmbier died suddenly, less than a week after his return to the U.S. in his normal state of health "is a mystery to us as well".

Mr Warmbier, 22, was arrested in the reclusive communist country while visiting as a tourist past year. His family said they were told that he had been in a coma since shortly after he was sentenced to prison with hard labor in March 2016.

The casket of Otto Warmbier is carried to the hearse followed by his family and friends after a funeral service for Warmbier, who died after his release from North Korea, at Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, U.S. June 22, 2017.

"Unfortunately, the very bad, torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today", Warmbier's parents said in announcing their son's death Monday.

Warmbier died Monday after his June 13 return to his home state of OH, where doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center treated him.

While the Doctors at University of Cincinnati Health Center said that while the cause of his condition was unknown - the severe brain injury he suffered found could have been caused by a cardiac arrest.

Warmbier was freed after the U.S. State Department's special envoy on North Korea, Joseph Yun, traveled to Pyongyang and demanded the student's release on humanitarian grounds, capping a flurry of diplomatic contacts, a U.S. official has said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says North Korea must bear "heavy responsibility" for the death of a 22-year-old US college student it detained for almost a year and a half. His mother is Jewish, but the family is not observant, according to Bergman.

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Warmbier's funeral will be held at Wyoming High School-located in the city of Wyoming, a suburb of Cincinnati-from which he graduated in 2013.

On display were his passport, a calculator, and the blazer he wore as he begged for his life to a North Korean court.

"The world stage is secondary to the fact that they've lost their child", she said, "and I think we can all certainly appreciate that".

Moon has vowed to take a dual-track approach of denuclearizing North Korea while seeking to hold talks with Pyongyang.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis vowed at the same press conference to "continue to take necessary measures to defend ourselves and our allies" against North Korea, which is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US.

"To see a young man go over there healthy and, (after) a minor act of mischief, come home dead basically this goes beyond any kind of understanding of law and order, of humanity, of responsibility toward any human being", he said.

He is the first American to die after being released from North Korean custody in half a century.

Warmbier's death has left a tremendous amount of uncertainty about how the USA will respond, if at all.