Trump Condemns 'Brutal' North Korean Regime After Death Of Student

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

Warmbier died Monday, June 19, 2017, relatives said in a statement.

The US government says North Korea is using such detainees as political pawns.

While visiting the hermit state in 2016, Warmbier was jailed for trying to steal a propaganda poster.

Early this month, North Korean diplomats at the United Nations urgently requested a face-to-face meeting with US officials in NY.

The 22-year-old was tried as a spy and sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp.

His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, announced his passing in a statement: "When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13, he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands". His family said he suffered from chronic health issues, including back pain, diabetes, an enlarged heart and liver problems.

Warmbier's doctors said he had suffered extensive tissue loss in all regions of his brain, but showed no signs of physical trauma.

Unresponsive wakefulness is a new medical term for persistent vegetative state.

North Korean officials claimed that he had been in a coma for about a year after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill, but American doctors said they saw no evidence of botulism.

But after he was returned the United States, doctors cast doubt on this, finding no signs of botulism.

After arriving back in the USA, it was revealed that the University of Virginia student had suffered extensive brain loss and was unable to communicate.

"It seems to me that President Trump has criticized the failed former policies of his predecessor administrations". The University of Virginia student was detained at the airport as he was leaving Pyongyang in January 2016.

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At a White House event Monday, President Trump said Pyongyang "is a brutal regime and we'll be able to handle it".

President Trump blamed the "brutality of the North Korean regime" for Warmbier's death.

He was salutatorian of his 2013 Wyoming High School class before attending the University of Virginia.

The news prompted Young Pioneer Tours, the Beijing-based company that organized Warmbier's North Korea trip, to announce it will stop taking US citizens on tours to the country.

Young Pioneers, whose website boasts of providing "budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stay away from", is among the most popular choice of tour operators among young Westerners.

Son Geum-ju, the spokesman for the center-left opposition People's Party, said Tuesday Moon needs to "pay close attention in order to maintain a solid U.S". Almost all Americans who have gone to North Korea have left without incident.

Jeffrey Fowle, also from OH, was detained in 2014 when he intentionally left a Bible in a nightclub. Fowle was freed after six months; he said he was kept isolated most of the time but not physically abused.

Korean-Americans Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song, who worked at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, were recently detained for hostile acts against the government, according to North Korea's state media.

Pyongyang continued to test-fire missiles since South Korean leader Moon took office pledging to engage in dialogue with North Korea.

North Korea has detained two Korean-American academics and a missionary, a Canadian pastor and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work there.

Asked how the Warmbier case would affect Moon's efforts to engage North Korea as he has said he wants to, the president added: "I believe we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime". Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare because they don't have formal diplomatic relations. During the meeting, Washington learned of Warmbier's condition.

The family added that they are also "at peace" and "at home".

Other reports by GizPress

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