Health Care

Death of freed United States student mystery, says N.Korea

North Korea has denied torturing U.S. student Otto Warmbier who died days after being released in a coma a year into a 15-year sentence for stealing a poster.

In all, 16 American citizens have been arrested in North Korea in the past 10 years and released only after high-profile intervention by former US presidents or their envoys.

North Korea claimed Friday that it doesn't know why American college student Otto Warmbier's health was so poor that after months of imprisonment he ended up dying - and said it even revived him after his "heart was almost stopped".

"Although we had no reason at all to show mercy to such a criminal of the enemy state, we provided him with medical treatments and care with all sincerity on humanitarian basis until his return to the USA, considering that his health got worse", the spokesman said.

The US doctors had also said that Warmbier's severe brain injury was most likely - given his young age - to have been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain. On Feb. 29, 2016, Warmbier was presented publicly to deliver a forced "confession", and just over two weeks later, on March 16, 2016, again on camera, he was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor.

KCNA quoted an unnamed spokesman for the country's National Reconciliation Council as saying: "Our relevant agencies treat all criminals. thoroughly in accordance with domestic laws and worldwide standards and Warmbier was not an exception".

The US student was arrested in Pyongyang previous year accused of stealing a propaganda poster. He died Monday at a Cincinnati hospital.

Warmbier died Monday, just days after he returned to the United States, and his funeral was held in his hometown in Ohio Thursday.

North Korea has tested several new missile systems this year, including a powerful midrange missile that experts say could one day reach targets as far as Hawaii or Alaska.

President Donald Trump came down heavily on North Korea after Warmbier's mysterious death.

His death has heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Warmbier was traveling in North Korea with a tour group.

"I think people don't see him as a friendly guy", Rodman continued. "South Korea must realise that following psychopath Trump...will only lead to disaster", an editorial carried by the paper said. We jumped up and down ...

His family and others have blamed North Korea for his condition.

Rodman's agent, Chris Volo, confirmed to ABC News that he personally asked North Korean authorities three times for Warmbier's release.

North Korea still holds Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak-song, academics who worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, and a businessman named Kim Dong Chul.

Dettwyler added: "How about a few moments of thought given to all the other people in North Korea who are suffering under the repressive government there?"

They say there was no evidence he suffered from botulism.



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