Science

North Korea Says Warmbier's Death a 'Mystery to Us as Well'

North Korea Says Warmbier's Death a 'Mystery to Us as Well'”

Pyongyang has denied allegations of torturing U.S. student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year and died days after returning home, the Foreign Ministry's official spokesman said, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Some American officials declared that North Korea "murdered" him, and proposed that the USA take action against Pyongyang, through travel restrictions and tougher economic sanctions.

North Korea's statement said the country still believed Warmbier had committed a "hostile act" against the DPRK on assignment from the Z Society, the Friendship United Methodist Church and the Central Intelligence Agency, citing Warmbier's February 2016 confession that led to his sentence of 15 years of hard labor in March of that year.

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. KCNA said the North dealt with Warmbier according to domestic law and global standards. He recalled that the United States citizen, who had admitted his guilt, was sentenced by the court to hard labor "for subversive activities against North Korea".

US President Donald Trump has slammed Warmbier's detention and eventual death as "a total disgrace". The Obama administration, the spokesman said, never asked for his release.

His family had no news of him until 13 June when Pyongyang announced he had been in a coma since his trial, attributing it to botulism. However, Warmbier's family and the State Department say Rodman had no role in the release.

Warmbier was buried Thursday in a funeral attended by thousands in his native OH town.

In the days following his death, North Korea's state media claimed Warmbier's death was a "mystery", according to CNN. Three Americans remain in custody in North Korea.

The sales accounted for more than 50 percent of North Korea's exports to China past year and about a fifth of its total trade, according to Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

In response, North Korea accused Washington of conducting a smear campaign that "compels us to make firm determination that humanitarianism and benevolence for the enemy are a taboo and we should further sharpen the blade of law". President Trump condemned the North's "brutality", and other political leaders demanded that it explain what happened to Mr. Warmbier. He was in a coma when he was medically evacuated to his home state last week.

The spokesman did not describe how Mr Hunziker died, but claimed that the United States then "totally ignored" his death.

They said he had tried to steal a propaganda banner kept in a staff section of the building.



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