US Blames North Korea For the Death of Otto Warmbier
US President Donald Trump was saddened and outraged by the death of American college student Otto Warmbier following his release from North Korean detention.
In a statement released by the White House, US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to the bereaved family and at the same time took aim at the North Korean regime for the untimely death of the 22-year old student.
“Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing,” a statement from the White House read.
President Donald Trump condemned the “brutal regime” for the death of the young student.
President Trump stated, “The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”
Warmbier returned to the United States on June 13 after 17 months of detention in the communist country. But later he died, less than a week after arriving in his hometown in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Warmbier Returns Home in ‘Vegetative State’
The young student arrived in his hometown in Cincinnati through the help of State Department special representative Joseph Yun.
Yun learned about the deteriorating health of Warmbier and immediately went to North Korea on June 12 with a medical team to secure Warmbier’s release.
But Warmbier was not the person he used to be when he arrived home. The young man had not spoken or moved in any purposeful way since his return. Doctors called the condition “unresponsive wakefulness“ also known as persistent vegetative state. He had suffered severe brain damage during his imprisonment.
The 22-year-old died Monday afternoon with his family at his side.
Speculation of Torture
The regime said he fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill in March 2016. But US doctors said they found no evidence of the illness.
However, the Warmbier family believes he was tortured into a coma. American politicians blamed the regime for the fate of young student as well.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who helped push for Warmbier’s release, said the United States holds North Korea “accountable” for Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment.
US Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said, “Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong Un regime.”
Otto Warmbier went to North Korea for a brief stay. But things did not turn out right when he was stopped at the airport when he was about to leave North Korea.
He was detained in January 2016 because he allegedly stole a political poster from a restricted floor in his hotel. He admitted to the crime and begged for forgiveness. Warmbier plead for release but was denied by the regime. Instead, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.