Coroner examining death of US student released by North Korea

An Ohio coroner, abiding by family wishes, has performed an external examination instead of a full autopsy on the body of the US student who was held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and sent home in a coma, the agency said on Tuesday. "If he were brought home sooner I think the result would've been a lot different".

President Donald Trump has offered condolences to Warmbier's family.

He added that he spoke with Warmbier's parents and that it's "incredible what they've gone through".

Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday he appreciated efforts by Chinese President Xi Jinping "to help with North Korea", adding "It has not worked out".

Warmbier returned home to OH last week and was treated by Cincinnati doctors who found that he had severe brain damage.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo). Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate student who was imprisoned in North Korea in March 2016, speaks during a news conference, Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Wyoming High School in Cinci.

Warmbier was returned to OH on June 13 after being held for more than 17 months. His brain suffered severe damage but there were no signs of physical trauma.

The young man was described as being in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness", opening his eyes but showing no signs of understanding language or of being aware of his surroundings. A naturalized US citizen who was born in South Korea, he is a businessman in his mid-60s who at one time lived in Fairfax, Virginia. The House Democratic whip stressed the difficulty in engaging North Korea, characterizing the country as "a state that violates all the norms" and suggesting that talks with China, a close North Korean ally, would bear more fruit.

A tour agency that took Mr Warmbier into North Korea before he was detained for 18 months has said it will stop taking Americans into the reclusive state.

A coroner hasn't reached a conclusion about the cause of death for a 22-year-old American college student who died in Cincinnati less than a week after he was released from North Korea in a coma. Warmbier was convicted for trying to steal a banner linked to former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il from a Pyongyang hotel used by foreign tourists.

Moon said that while "we can not know for sure that North Korea killed Mr. Warmbier".

He said he had spoken with the Warmbier family.

Trump said he would be willing to meet Kim under the right conditions, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a regular news briefing.

Park also insisted Pyongyang would "have to quickly return" the remaining South Korean and American captives and that Seoul would do all it can to achieve that outcome. Almost all Americans who have gone to North Korea have left without incident.

Previously, Trump told CBS he would "not be happy" if North Korea tested a nuclear device, though he did not specify whether he would take action in response.

"I think we should strongly consider it", Corker said.

The U.S. and North Korea have no diplomatic relations.

Asked about the United States and other countries possibly imposing wider sanctions on North Korea, he replied: "My country has been under sanctions for more than 60 years by Americans".

The administration of President Donald Trump has been pushing China hard to use its influence with North Korea to curtail its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

"Look, I assume there's going to be an autopsy and we'll know more about what actually led to what caused him to pass away".

  • Zachary Reyes