Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

USA student freed by North Korea has died at 22

USA student freed by North Korea has died at 22

More than 15 months after he gave a staged confession in North Korea, he is with.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File).

Just hours after Otto Warmbier was pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, President Donald Trump released a statement and claimed that the University of Virgina student was yet another victim of #North Korea's "brutal regime".

His father, Fred Warmbier, said last week that he believed Otto had been fighting for months to stay alive to return to his family.

An American university student Otto Warmbier who had been held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months died at a Cincinnati hospital on Monday.

Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) died in Cincinnati on Monday, not long after his return to OH after almost a year and a half in North Korean captivity. Justin Weber told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning that a press conference is expected later to provide details.

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They believe respiratory arrest led to his condition, which is caused by a lack of oxygen and blood in the brain. Doctors who examined him before his death noted that he had suffered extensive brain damage consistent with oxygen been cut off from the brain.

In his hometown of Wyoming, people said he was a popular young man who played football and was salutatorian of his 2013 class at the esteemed Wyoming High School. He arrived in OH on June 13, 2017, after being held for more than 17 months.

They also said, "Warmbier lapsed into a coma in March 2016, shortly after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea".

The North claimed Warmbier fell into a coma soon after he was sentenced past year, saying he had contracted botulism and been given a sleeping pill.

Last week Tillerson said the "moving into this next effort of are we going to have to.... start taking secondary sanctions", but so far the Trump administration has held off on placing sanctions on Chinese companies that do business with North Korea.

Efforts continue to secure the release of three other Americans being held by the North Korean regime. Doctors say he has suffered a severe brain injury.

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Unresponsive wakefulness is a new medical term for persistent vegetative state. Patients in this condition can open their eyes but do not respond to commands. Then, according to the North Koreans, he fell into a coma and was kept imprisoned in that state for more than a year before they finally released him - no doubt because they didn't want him to die on their watch or because a dead American is suddenly no longer a valuable pawn in their twisted game of global diplomacy.

But a team of doctors assessing him in Cincinnati said they had found "no sign of botulism".

While studying overseas in China, Warmbier chose to take a 5-day trip to North Korea with Young Pioneer Tours, which says it offers "budget tours to destinations your mother wants you to stay away from".

"We have provided safe visits for over 8,000 tourists to North Korea in the last 10 years".

"There had not been any previous detainment in North Korea that has ended with such tragic finality and we have been struggling to process the result", Young Pioneer Tours said in a statement on its website. Pyongyang has also vowed to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the USA mainland. John McCain said that Americans who are "stupid" enough to still want to visit North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the USA government of any blame if they're harmed while there. "Working with such a country, we must achieve the goal of the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear program", he said.

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