Korea denies torturing United States student Warmbier

Pauline Gross
June 26, 2017

North Korea has blamed the death of Otto Warmbier, whom it released in a coma after 17 months' detention, on Obama's "strategic patience" policy.

In a statement on Friday, the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected Washington's claims that Warmbier had been provided with proper medical treatment, saying North Korea was also puzzled why the student died right after arriving in the United States.

Warmbier was sent back to the U.S.in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, according to doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Though his family said they were told Warmbier had fallen into the coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill, US doctors believed that Warmbier had been beaten and suffered massive brain damage.

The KCNA said the North dealt with Mr Warmbier, 22, according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

North Korea's statement said the country still believed Warmbier had committed a "hostile act" against the DPRK on assignment from the Z Society, the Friendship United Methodist Church and the Central Intelligence Agency, citing Warmbier's February 2016 confession that led to his sentence of 15 years of hard labor in March of that year.

But the North Korean government say the death is a "mystery" and denies responsibility.

Portman was quoted as telling reporters that Warmbier was an "amazing young man" and North Korea must be held accountable for his death.

As pallbearers carried Warmbier's casket out to the hearse, people outside the school stood in silence.

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The spokesman said North Korea could not understand why Mr. Warmbier died so suddenly after returning home because his health indicators were "normal" upon his release.

"We condemn any and all messages that endorse hatred and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered", the statement read.

Warmbier's alma mater was packed Thursday, as the community came to terms with its sorrow over his death - and celebrated what Meis described as his rare combination of intelligence, affability and sincerity.

Warmbier was detained in North Korea in January 2016 at the airport in Pyongyang after a short tour of the country.

The North Koreans had told USA officials that Warmbier slipped in a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill. Joseph Yun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, who visited Pyongyang and brought Warmbier home.

They said he had tried to steal a propaganda banner kept in a staff section of the building.

Earlier this week, President Trump said China has tried to help the United States solve increasing tensions with North Korea, but "it has not worked out". Is there anyone dumb enough to think Wambier received better treatement at the hands of North Korea prison doctors than he did here at home.

Other reports by GizPress

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