USA student dies after release from North Korea

"Bad things happened but at least we got him home to his parents".

Warmbier, a UVA student, was arrested for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan and was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

Warmbier's family announced his death, saying the 22-year-old "has completed his journey home".

The younger Warmbier grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming.

"We have provided safe visits for over 8,000 tourists to North Korea in the last 10 years". He arrived in OH on June 13 after being held for more than 17 months.

Human Rights Watch, a US-based campaign group, said the death of Mr Warmbier showed that Mr Kim's regime "will not hesitate to brutalise and kill to maintain their hold on power".

He was salutatorian of his 2013 Wyoming High School class before attending the University of Virginia.

Later, Otto's younger brother Austin shared with reporters a video, the last known one of Otto as a free person.

"We can not know for sure that North Korea killed Mr. Warmbier".

"Tonight, my thoughts and prayers are with the Warmbier family".

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday North Korea should swiftly return South Koreans and Americans detained in the reclusive nation. But there are certainly many other people living without freedom in the country of 24 million people - enduring awful circumstances and forced labor - and we do not even know their names.

The company, which advertised the North as "probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit", came under fire after Warmbier was medically evacuated to the U.S. in a coma after a flurry of secret diplomatic negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

But a team of doctors assessing him in Cincinnati said they had found "no sign of botulism". "The United States of America can not and should not tolerate the murder of its citizens by hostile powers". South Korea and Canada, along with the United States, has been fighting to regain the prisoners into their respective countries, but North Korea is still adamant in enforcing its own laws and punishments.

Bae, a Christian missionary who ran a company specializing in tours of North Korea, was accused by Pyongyang of plotting to bring down the government through religious activities.

North Korean authorities said Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

China-based Koryo Tours, which has been going to North Korea since 1993 and takes about 2,000 tourists a year, said the "devastating tragedy" had prompted it to reconsider taking United States citizens to the North.

The U.S. Department of State warns against travel to North Korea.

Korean Americans Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song who worked at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) were recently detained for hostile acts against the state, according to North Korea's state media.

  • Leroy Wright