An American student, whom North Korea released last week in a coma after 18 months of captivity, has died.
Wambier’s death evoked widespread outrage and criticism in the United States against North Korea. Describing North Korea as “a brutal regime,” President Donald Trump said “We will be able to handle (the regime.)”
Otto Warmbier, the 22 year-old University of Virginia student, was arrested in January 2016 at the end of a brief tourist visit to the isolated country allegedly for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.
He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.
North Korea returned Warmbier, who was suffering from severe brain damage, to the United States on June 13, saying he had been in a coma for a year and that it was acting on humanitarian grounds.
Warmbier was admitted at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, but was not responding to treatment.
Doctors revealed that Otto had suffered severe neurological injuries, and described him as being in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness,” opening his eyes and blinking, but showing no signs of understanding language or of being aware of his surroundings.
He died Monday afternoon, his parents announced.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier said their son died as a result of the “awful torturous mistreatment” by the North Koreans.
“Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency,” Trump said in a statement.
John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, accused the Kim Jong-un regime of murdering Warmbier.
Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Marco Rubio said North Korea must be held accountable for the “murder.”
In a message condoling the death of Warmbier, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson demanded the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained in North Korea. They include two men who taught at a Pyongyang university funded by overseas…