Trump offers condolences to family whose son died after North Korean detainment

Angie Massey
June 20, 2017

Otto Warmbier was arrested on charges of subversion by North Korea past year, while he was touring the country, for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel room.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, in a statement, said, "It is our sad duty to report that our son has completed his journey home".

His family says he was unable to see, speak or respond to verbal commands.

THOMPSON: So from Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has been very close to the family, he says that Otto Warmbier was such a promising young man. But within a day the countenance of his face changed and he was at peace.

Doctors who examined him upon his return described Wambier's condition as "unresponsive wakefulness".

North Korea said last week that it had released Mr Warmbier "on humanitarian grounds".

After returning to the United States, Bae thanked then-President Barack Obama and the North Korean government for releasing him.

His family said Monday that he first appeared anguished when he first arrived home, but died "at peace". The next time the world saw Warmbier he was distraught, breaking down in front of Korean journalists in a video North Korea released in February 2016. "He is on a Medivac flight on his way home", his parents said in a previous statement.

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North Korea said he had been in a coma for a year after contracting botulism but his family say he was subjected to "awful torturous mistreatment". Three U.S. citizens remain in North Korea after being detained by the regime.

The University of Virginia student had a stopover tour in North Korea, en route to Hong Kong, where he was going to study.

Warmbier was convicted of subversion in North Korea after he tearfully confessed he tried to steal a propaganda banner.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto's family and friends, and all who loved him", the White House said in a statement.

While there was no physical evidence he was beaten, doctors said that Warmbier had suffered "extensive loss of brain tissue", suggesting he had lost blood supply to his brain for a period of time.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson says he's saddened and angry about the death of an American college student from OH who was released by North Korea in a coma last week. His family said it was told he had been a coma since soon after his March 2016 sentencing.

"Some people may disagree with our approach to North Korea but any claim we have sinister intents is a mischaracterisation".

"He died but he died at home and not in North Korea so if that is a small measure of comfort I hope they have that", Bernay said.

Other reports by GizPress

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