North Korea denies torturing United States student Warmbier

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

But the spokesman, whom state news did not identify, said that American doctors who flew to Pyongyang to evacuate Mr. Warmbier recognized that the North had "provided him with medical treatment and brought him back alive" after his "heart was almost stopped". "We gave him the best treatment until we sent him back to the USA for humanitarian reasons considering his deteriorating health", North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement by its spokesperson that was released on June 23.

His family blame the pariah state and parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement: 'The very bad torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced'.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 for trying to steal a political banner.

The KCNA said the North dealt with Mr Warmbier, 22, according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

He was serving a sentence of hard labor after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster.

After his trial, North Korea told the United States that he had come down with a case of botulism and was given a sleeping pill, which he never woke up from. "We relied on this false premise they would treat Otto fairly and let him go, I think the results speak for themselves". They claimed to be "literally mugged" by United States authorities and airport police who made a "violent assault like gangsters" when they were "forcibly taking away the diplomatic package", the news agency said.

The statement issued by North Korea's foreign ministry was aimed at defending the hermit nation against the accusation of torturing Otto Warmbier.

North Korea is now holding three other USA citizens.

Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier died in Cincinnati on Monday, not long after his return to OH after almost a year and a half in North Korean captivity. In his memoir, Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea, he said how one interrogator kept telling him: "No one remembers you".

In a joint interview with ABC News, Rodman's agent credited Warmbier's release to Rodman's brief visit to Pyongyang earlier this month.

He is the first American to die after being released from North Korean custody in half a century.

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

According to CNN, Warmbier's doctors said the 22-year-old student was in a condition they called "unresponsive wakefulness" or "persistent vegetative state".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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