Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

North Korea denies torturing USA student, calls death a mystery


"We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier's unjust imprisonment, and demand the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained".

North Korea issued its first official statement after the death of USA student, Otto Warmbier.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, told the throng of reporters stationed outside that Warmbier was "an fantastic young man" from a resilient family and that North Korea must be held accountable for what happened to the 22-year-old University of Virginia student, who died Monday.

When Warmbier returned to OH last week after US officials secured his release, doctors determined that he had suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

Warmbier, 22. was sentenced to 15 years hard labour in North Korea for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel in early 2016.

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KCNA says the North dealt with Warmbier according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

"Why the US government which claims to care about the welfare of its citizens had not even once made an official request for the release of Warmbier on humanitarian basis during the Obama administration?" The US authorities advise their citizens not to visit North Korea as tourists given the high risk.

Otto Warmbier's casket is carried to the hearse followed by his family and friends after a funeral service on Thursday.

(CNN) - Days after the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier following 17 months detention in North Korea, the country's state media claimed his death was a "mystery".

The student's family say the regime "brutalised" him, but North Korea has denied it.

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Donald Trump also hit out at North Korea, claiming "a lot of bad things happened" to Mr Warmbier during his captivity in the country.

It accused South Korea of tarnishing North Korea's image with "slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture" while having no knowledge of the "humanitarian" treatment Warmbier received. As no autopsy was conducted, the cause of Warmbier's coma and death remain unknown.

Warmbier died days after his return to the United States, and his funeral was held Thursday in his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio.

Ohio's Republican senator calls Otto Warmbier "an fantastic young man" who shouldn't have been detained. It warned that such actions would force North Korea to become even stricter in its way of dealing with other U.S. nationals held in the country.

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