South Korea's Moon urges North Korea to return detainees swiftly

The United States calls on Pyongyang to release three USA citizens who are in detention in North Korea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a press statement after the news about the death of a U.S. student, who had been held captive for over 17 months.

Warmbier's family released a statement, saying "Unfortunately, the terrible, torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today".

"Millions of unknown North Koreans are subjected to the brutality of the Kim regime", the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said in a statement.

Otto Warmbier, a United States college student who was detained in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, has died.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan sends her thoughts and prayers to Warmbier's family and friends "during what has been an incredibly hard time", adding Warmbier "will be missed by all those who knew and loved him".

The statement also mentioned that he had been unable to speak, react to verbal commands or see.

The coroner's office in Cincinnati is investigating the death of an American college student who died less than a week after his return from North Korea, where he was detained for almost a year and a half.

Warmbier had planned to study in China in his third year of college and heard about Chinese travel companies offering trips to North Korea.

USA government officials worked out Warmbier's release in March 2016 with the help of the United Nations.

Warmbier, 22, who was arrested in North Korea while visiting as a tourist, had been described by doctors caring for him last week as having extensive brain damage that left him in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness".

Warmbier was admitted in a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 13 after he had been turned over in a state of coma with serious brain injuries by North Korean authorities. "He looked very uncomfortable, nearly anguished", they said.

Otto Warmbier, 22, was released from North Korea and handed over to the United States authorities last week, but he passed away on Monday.

The North Korean regime claimed that Warmbier suffered an attack of botulism and was given a sleeping pill by his captors but he fell into a coma, a narrative that the family has refuted. FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Warmbier was detained at the Pyongyang airport in January 2016, charged with a "hostile act" against the country's authoritarian government and convicted less than two months later of trying to steal a propaganda poster.

North Korean diplomats at the United Nations had urgently requested a face-to-face meeting with USA officials in NY.

Yun learned about Warmbier's condition in a meeting a week before the release from the North Korean ambassador at the NY.

Three Americans remain held in North Korea.

The senator from Arizona says, "There should at least be a form for them to fill out that says, 'If I go to North Korea, I understand I am taking great risk, and I do not hold the American government responsible'".

  • Arturo Norris