Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

South Korea's Moon says North Korea responsible for Warmbier death

South Korea's Moon says North Korea responsible for Warmbier death

CINCINNATI (AP) - A coroner's office in OH is investigating the death of a 22-year-old college student who died shortly after his return to the USA after almost a year and a half in North Korean detention, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Speaking moments after news of Otto Warmbier's death was announced publicly, Trump decried the Pyongyang regime.

A joint statement was released on behalf of Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump: "Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing".

He had been sentenced for stealing a political poster from his hotel. Warmbier, an American college student who was released by North Korea in a com.

"President Moon Jae-in expressed regrets after hearing the news of [Otto] Warmbier's death", presidential office spokesman Park Soo-hyun told reporters in comments carried by Yonhap News Agency.

"Now, the assessment of risk for Americans visiting North Korea has become too high", it said, adding, "we will no longer be organising tours for USA citizens to North Korea".

He won an award at the highly rated high school, and was on the soccer team, among other activities.

The University of Virginia student was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group and was convicted of subversion. "The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim".

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labour but fell into a coma soon after his sentencing.

A public funeral service for a US student who was detained in North Korea and eventually released in a coma has been scheduled for Thursday at his hometown high school in Ohio.

In May, the government of Pyongyang claimed the Central Intelligence Agency is preparing a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un with the help of some corrupt North Korean citizens, who in the past, attempted to kill him with a chemical substance.

He said in an interview on "CBS This Morning" broadcast Tuesday that while it's not clear exactly what happened, there can be speculation that North Korea made "unjust and cruel treatments" to Warmbier.

However, on January 2, 2016, Otto Warmbier was arrested at Pyongyang International Airport as he tries to leave the country. But after his return home to OH last week, doctors said they suspected his condition had been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest.

On Monday evening, she said: "Otto will be dearly missed".

Warmbier died in OH on Monday, days after being released by North Korea.

The economics student from the University of Virginia had travelled to North Korea as a tourist. And with the annual diplomatic and security talks between Washington and Beijing set to take place on Wednesday, the State Department's acting assistant secretary Susan Thorton said, upping pressure on North Korea will be at the top of the agenda.

They said that Warmbier's brain injury was probably caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain.

Young Pioneer Tours, which was founded by British expatriate Gareth Johnson, said that it was denied any opportunity to meet with Warmbier after his detention, and that the way it was handled was "appalling".

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been heightened by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since previous year in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Several thousand worldwide tourists are thought to travel to North Korea every year, as well as tens of thousands of Chinese travellers.

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