Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

N Korea accuses USA of 'smear campaign' over student's death

Three Americans remain detained in North Korea.

The Hamilton County coroner is still trying to determine the cause of Warmbier's death Monday.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Friday the death of American student Otto Warmbier days after his release was a "mystery", as his health indicators and examination results were all normal when he left DPRK.

On Thursday, June 15, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said that the 22-year-old Warmbier had extensive loss of brain tissue and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness.

The 800-capacity auditorium at Warmbier's high school in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming was packed, as were overflow rooms set up to accommodate additional attendees.

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Mr Warmbier, 22, a student at the University of Virginia, had been travelling with a tour group when he was arrested at Pyongyang airport in January 2016. 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.

We do know that the 22-year-old university student was medically evacuated from North Korea on 13 June and flown to the U.S. where he died on 19 June.

Some elected officials have offered responses to Warmbier's death, varying from condemnations of the North Korean government, to the suggestion that Americans shouldn't be visiting the country at all and should have to sign waivers before doing so ― Arizona Sen. The service was conducted by a rabbi and lasted about one hour.

A student of the United States of America at the University of Virginia who was arrested in North Korea has been confirmed dead after he was returned to the U.S. last week.

The North Koreans compared this Trump "wag the dog" scenario to former President Bill Clinton using military strikes on Iraq to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, claiming that Trump would use the same tactic to avoid a "tough situation" in the US that could lead to his impeachment.

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His family had no news of him until 13 June, when Pyongyang said he had been in a coma since his trial after contracting botulism and receiving a sleeping pill.

It demanded that South Korea return 12 restaurant workers who defected to the South past year.

"Didn't matter what time of day or what he was doing, he'd drop everything to help his friends", Mr Beerck said.

Warmbier's father had blasted Obama during a news conference at the time of his son's release, when asked what more could have been done to bring him home before Donald Trump became president.

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.

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He said he also presented the North Koreans with photos of Warmbier, "to let them know he was a college kid".

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