Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

US pushing China to rein in companies that deal with NKorea

The China-based travel agency that organized a trip to North Korea for an American college student who died after being released in a coma from North Korean detention said it would no longer take USA citizens to the country. They said it should be a "call to action to those in the position to protect our American citizens here at home AND overseas".

Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier (WORM'-bir) died in Cincinnati on Monday, not long after his return to OH after almost a year and a half in North Korean captivity.

President Donald Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with Kim Jong Un's totalitarian government as American concern grows over North Korea's acceleration toward having a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike the US mainland.

A ban on Americans visiting North Korea would only slightly add to the North's isolation and loss of revenue.

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi and China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out". That conclusion could be seen as a warning of unilateral U.S. action to follow.

Top U.S. and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs are meeting in the U.S. capital for security talks, and North Korea will get "top billing", according to Susan Thornton, the senior U.S. diplomat for East Asia.

Moon will likely emphasize that South Korean companies like Hyundai have built factories in the US that employ 45,000 people and contributed $138 billion to the USA economy.

He says "if people are that stupid that they still want to go to that country, then at least they assume the responsibility for their welfare".

Eastern Vision, a Hong Kong-based tour company that specializes in travel for university students and new graduates, stopped taking U.S. citizens on tours to North Korea in early 2016, after Warmbier's arrest.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office in Warmbier's native OH confirmed it had received the body. Doctors had described Warmbier's condition as a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and said he suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

The Hamilton County coroner is still trying to determine the cause of Warmbier's death Monday, less than a week after his return in a coma. Justin Weber told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning that a press conference is expected later to provide details.

Washington is likely to put increased pressure on China after the death of Mr Warmbier. Warmbier has since died, and the United States has asked for answers from North Korea.

"Unfortunately, the bad 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", the family said in a statement.

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

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff introduced a bill to prohibit all American tourist travel to North Korea and has called the country a "despotic regime". He was imprisoned for 17 months before being returned to the United States, comatose, on June 13.

While visiting the hermit state in 2016, Warmbier was jailed for trying to steal a propaganda poster. His family said it was told he had been in a coma since soon after his sentencing.

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