Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Otto Warmbier, US Student Sent Home From North Korea, Passes away


The coroner's office in Cincinnati is investigating the death of an American college student who died less than a week after his return from North Korea, where he was detained for almost a year and a half.

Trump said he had spoken with Warmbier's parents, telling reporters in the Oval Office that it was "incredible what they've gone through".

A joint statement was released on behalf of Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump: "Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing".

President Trump similarly asserted this week, "the results would have been different" had Otto been brought home sooner; he did not elaborate, but did add, "he should have been brought home that day".

Richardson calls on North Korea to release three Americans and a Canadian detained in the country in response to Monday's death of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir). While North Korean officials stated he fell into a coma after contracting botulism, U.S. doctors who examined Warmbier said he suffered severe neurological trauma while in detention and showed no traces of the toxin.

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.

Warmbier was released from a North Korean prison last week and was sent back home in a coma, a condition he had been in for more than a year in a coma.

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Young Pioneer Tours, for its part, will not end student tours to North Korea for citizens of other countries.

Seoul's Defense Ministry said the bombers engaged in routine exercises with South Korean fighter jets aimed at showing deterrence against North Korea. Warmbier returned home last week in a coma, and died Monday.

The U.S. State Department strongly warns Americans against traveling to North Korea, saying they're "at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea's system of law enforcement".

The harsh judgement sparked outrage - but the North Korean dictator said the punishment fit the crime.

China, North Korea's main ally, also lamented Warmbier's death.

And when he was finally released from the wrath of Kim Jong-un, the student fell into a coma for the better part of a year.

"The US once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim", he added.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also commented on Otto's death.

Senator John McCain went even further.

Kim Jong-Un's regime claimed that Warmbier contracted botulism and fell into a coma soon after being sentenced a year ago.

Warmbier's hometown rallied around his family, wrapping school-color ribbons around trees and utility poles lining Wyoming's main road.

Warmbier's death has prompted Young Pioneer Tours, the agency that took him to Pyongyang, to reconsider taking American tourists, USA Today reported Tuesday.

The administration of President Donald Trump has been pushing China hard to use its influence with North Korea to curtail its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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