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North Korea accuses United States of America of 'smear campaign' over death of Otto Warmbier

North Korea accuses United States of America of 'smear campaign' over death of Otto Warmbier”

"It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home".

A long line of mourners waited to enter funeral services early today for Otto Warmbier, the United States student imprisoned in North Korea who returned home last week in a coma that proved fatal.

"Although there was no reason for us to have compassion for hostile criminals, taking into consideration his worsening health we provided care to the utmost, on humanitarian grounds, until he was repatriated to the United States", the spokesman said.

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". It warned that such actions would force North Korea to become even stricter in its way of dealing with other U.S. nationals held in the country.

On Thursday, approximately 2,500 people gathered to pay their respects at Otto's high school near Cincinnati.

Kenneth Bae, another American held for two years in North Korea, told CNN he thinks its possible that Otto Warmbier was tortured.

"The fact that Warmbier died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S. in his normal state of health indicators is a mystery to us as well", the spokesman said.

Doctors concluded that he suffered a severe neurological injury from an unknown cause.

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The United States has demanded North Korea release three other USA citizens it holds in detention: missionary Kim Dong Chul and academics Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song.

Warmbier's death caused a public furor in the US, bringing home the threat posed by North Korea to average citizens more than dozens of ballistic missile and nuclear tests over the past few years.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he held North Korea responsible for the student's death.

Relatives were told the 22-year-old University of Virginia student had been in a coma since shortly after he was sentenced for allegedly trying to steal a North Korean propaganda banner in March, 2016. "Some good things came of this trip".

In a statement on the state-run news site, a spokesman said Warmbier's death was a "mystery". The display included notebooks, Warmbier's passport and the jacket he wore during his public confession in North Korea.

The Foreign Ministry statement also criticized South Korea, which had called on the North to release its other detainees including six South Koreans.

"I was just so happy to see the kid released", Rodman said.

But later in the day, they said the family objected to an autopsy being performed on his body, so just an external exam was done.

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