Health Care

Otto Warmbier dies days after returning from North Korea in vegetative state

Otto Warmbier dies days after returning from North Korea in vegetative state”

"Unfortunately, the very bad torturous treatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today". John McCain said in a statement. "He was home and we believe he could sense that", his parents said in the statement.

He was detained at the airport as he was leaving the country with a tour group in January 2016.

A person believed to be Otto Warmbier is transferred from a medical transport airplane after he was brought home from detention in North Korea.

Mr Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for attempting to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.

The University of Virginia student fell into a coma and was medically evacuated from North Korea on June 13. His family said they were told he had been a coma since soon after his March 2016 sentencing.

Doctors said last week Warmbier suffered extensive loss of tissue in all regions of the brain.

US officials condemned North Korea's treatment of Warmbier, who spent more than a year in a coma.

They said they were choosing to focus on the time they were given with their "warm, engaging, brilliant" son instead of focusing on what they had lost.

Warmbier told reporters he was offered a used auto worth US$10,000 (€8,961) if he could obtain a sign, adding that US$200,000 (€17,923) would be paid to his mother if he was detained and did not return.

President Trump on Monday said that he and first lady Melania Trump offer their deepest condolences to the Warmbier family.

Tillerson told USA senators at the start of a budget hearing that the State Department had no comment on Mr Warmbier's condition, "out of respect for him and his family". In the final year of his life, he lived the nightmare in which the North Korean people have been trapped for 70 years: "forced labor, mass starvation, systematic cruelty, torture, and murder". He was then transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He was salutatorian of his 2013 class at a highly rated high school, and was on the soccer team, among other activities.

Three Americans remain held in North Korea. Richardson, a Democrat who has made several trips to North Korea, said a forceful response from the US government would be required "if it's determined that there was a cover-up and Otto's condition was not disclosed and he didn't get proper treatment". The US government accuses North Korea of using such detainees as political pawns.

Ohio's USA senators sharply criticized North Korea soon after his release. Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare because they don't have formal diplomatic relations.

The Trump administration placed intense pressure on Pyongyang to release Warmbier when they learned of his condition.

Otto Warmbier's parents' statement about their son's death focuses on being grateful for both the time they had with their son and the "outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched".

Warmbier, 22, died at 2:20 p.m. local time Monday, days after he was released from captivity in North Korea.



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