Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Otto Warmbier former North Korea detainee dies

In this February 29, 2016, photo, American student Otto Warmbier cries while speaking to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in March 2016.

Warmbier was accused of an attempt to "undermine unity of the Korean people".

Doctors at the hospital where Warmbier died said though he was breathing on his own he had made no sign of understanding language or his surroundings and had made no "purposeful movements or behaviours".

In his immediate reaction to the news, President Trump called North Korea a brutal regime that does not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement that "countless innocent men and women have died at the hands of the North Korean criminals, but the singular case of Otto Warmbier touches the American heart like no other". After 17 months of detention, the North Korean government last week handed the 22-year-old over to USA authorities in a vegetative state. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto's family and friends, and all who loved him.

The statement also mentioned that he had been unable to speak, react to verbal commands or see.

Several other politicians also criticized North Korea after Warmbier passed.

He had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after being arrested during a trip with Young Pioneer Tours, a China-based tour company. Doctors caring for him last week described him as having extensive brain damage that left him in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness".

Otto Warmbier left North Korea after being carried onto the plane to fly back to the United States.Upon arriving back in the USA he was admitted to the University of Cincinnati #Medical Center with his family by his side. The family said he looked uncomfortable and anguished after arriving June 13 but his countenance later changed. Warmbier, an American college student who was released by North Korea.

"We hope that North Korea and the USA can handle it appropriately", he added.

According to U.S. local media, the 22-year-old student from the University of Virginia has been in a state of coma for more than a year after contracting botulism soon after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in a trial by North Korean supreme court on March 16, 2016.

They added: "He was home and we believe he could sense that".

As he attempted to leave the country to return home on January 2, he was arrested and detained at the airport.

Three Americans remain held in North Korea.

When the Wyoming community first learned of Warmbier coming home they tied, blue and white ribbons around hundreds of trees to welcome him, not knowing his condition.

Ohio's US senators sharply criticized North Korea soon after his release. Yun then was dispatched to North Korea and visited Warmbier June 12 with two doctors and demanded his release on humanitarian grounds.

The organizers of Warmbier's trip say they will no longer take USA citizens to the country.

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