Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Public funeral planned for US student Otto Warmbier freed from North Korea


President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Warmbier's death after his lengthy detention in North Korea was a "total disgrace" and that if the college student had been returned home to the USA earlier, "I think the result would have been a lot different".

Former United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson on Tuesday called the death of former North Korean prisoner Otto Warmbier "close to" murder and said that Pyongyang "should be punished in some way for the way they acted".

Trump says he spoke with Warmbier's parents and says it's "incredible what they've gone through".

In response, President Donald Trump issued a terse statement condemning North Korea, which is still holding three Americans hostage.

After 17 months of detention, the North Korean government last week handed the 22-year-old over to US authorities in a vegetative state.

"Unfortunately, the terrible torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today", Warmbier's parents said in a statement.

He was salutatorian of his 2013 Wyoming High School class before attending the University of Virginia. Warmbier had been released by Pyongyang days earlier after 17 months in state prison.

Suffering from severe brain damage, he died Monday in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, surrounded by family who decried his "awful torturous mistreatment" at the hands of Pyongyang, while taking solace in the fact he made it home before he died.

South Korea's Blue House on Tuesday cited Moon separately as saying: 'It is very deplorable that North Korea does not respect human rights'. Yun learned about Warmbier's condition in a meeting a week before the release from the North Korean ambassador at the U.N.in NY.

"It doesn't take much to get in trouble in North Korea".

Barring Americans from stepping foot in North Korea would mark the latest US step to isolate the furtive, nuclear-armed nation, and protect USA citizens who may be allured by the prospect of traveling there.

The coroner's office daily report Tuesday included Warmbier in its listings with cause of death termed "pending".

Young Pioneer Tours, an agency operated largely by expats in the north Chinese city of Xi'an, had previously described North Korea as "probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit".

"Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerBob CorkerHouse Republicans block Russian Federation sanctions bill United States weighs travel ban on North Korea: report GOP senator: ObamaCare repeal bill coming Thursday MORE (R-Tenn.) agreed, warning the newspaper that tourism to the rogue dictatorship often endangered American lives".

The North Korean government said the student had contracted botulism and slipped into a coma. Warmbier's family said he died in OH on Monday.

Signaling a major shift in USA policy, Trump said earlier this year that he was willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program.

"It's unsafe", Corker said, adding that the "trumped up charges" like those Warmbier was accused of "can continue to happen". While almost all Americans who have been there have left without incident, visitors can be seized and face lengthy incarceration for what might seem like minor infractions.

North Korea has detained two Korean-American academics and a missionary, a Canadian pastor and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work there.

"During the course of the Obama Administration, we had no higher priority than securing the release of Americans detained overseas", Obama spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

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