Culture

North Korea says it's 'biggest victim' in USA student's death

North Korea says it's 'biggest victim' in USA student's death”

North Korea Friday denied torturing or mistreating Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student who died after being released from the North in a coma, in the first official reaction to his death. A bagpiper played as the casket was carried to a hearse. Additional attendees watched the funeral on monitors, CNN reported.

Two months later, he was found guilty of committing "hostile acts" against the North Korean regime and sentenced to 15 years hard labor in a trial that reportedly lasted about an hour.

Nearby streets were adorned with blue and white ribbons as a show of support. Through statements on KCNA, North Korea said it dealt with him according to its domestic laws and worldwide standards.

Mr Warmbier was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting North Korea in 2015 and was later convicted of subversion.

President Donald Trump did not attend the funeral, but has blasted Warmbier's death as "a total disgrace".

While Pyongyang accepted USA demands for Warmbier's return on humanitarian grounds, Washington "totally distorted this truth and dared to clamor about "retaliation" and "pressure" on "dignified" North Korea, the spokesman told KCNA.

Trump told Yang he looked forward to "enhancing cooperation" with China on the denuclearization of the North, the ministry said in a statement.On Wednesday Yang and top General Fang Fenghui met with Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the State Department to discuss North Korea and other regional issues. "This pattern of brain injury is usually seen as result of cardiopulmonary arrest where blood supply to (the) brain is inadequate for a period of time, resulting in the death of brain tissue".

"This process has been a window into both evil, and love and good", one of Ohio's two USA senators, Rob Portman, told reporters before the funeral, which was closed to the media.

As with just about everything associated with that isolated country, the circumstances of Warmbier's vegetative condition remain a mystery.

China, North Korea's main trading partner, has been accused of not fully enforcing existing United Nations sanctions on its neighbor, and has resisted some tougher measures. "It's a brutal regime and we'll be able to handle it", Trump said.

Earlier this week, Obama spokesman Ned Price said the previous administration "had no higher priority than securing the release of Americans detained overseas", and added that its efforts to secure Warmbier's release had "never ceased, even in the waning days of the administration". The coroner's office reviewed medical records from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the air ambulance service that helped ferry Warmbier from Pyongyang to Cincinnati.

The North's spokesman said such accusations are part of a smear campaign to slander the country that had given "medical treatments and care with all sincerity" to a person who was "clearly a criminal".



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