'It's unbelievable': Traveler describes trip to North Korea

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American college student, died Monday just days after North Korea released him from detention in a coma. Doctors last week described Warmbier's condition upon his return June 13 as a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and said he suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States holds North Korea accountable for Warmbier's "unjust imprisonment" and urged Pyongyang to release three other Americans who are detained.

Warmbier said his family was advised by the Obama administration "to take a low profile" as they worked to bring him home from North Korea, an global pariah state.

The Warmbier family announced Tuesday that the 22-year-old will be laid to rest Thursday morning in OH, as Republican and Democratic lawmakers decried his treatment by Pyongyang and floated the idea of banning American travel to North Korea as a first step.

"It's painful that Mr. Warmbier was not among them, but our efforts on his behalf never ceased", he said.

In an interview with CBS News, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that while it's not clear if North Korea killed Warmbier, they have "heavy responsibility".

"It's a total disgrace what happened to Otto". 'And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different'.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been heightened by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since the beginning of previous year in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Tour operators told the wire service that Americans account for about a fifth of all non-Chinese tourism to North Korea.

North Korea said he contracted botulism and fell into a coma after taking a sleeping pill.

On Tuesday, a US official, who did not want to be identified, said USA spy satellites had detected movements recently at North Korea's nuclear test site near a tunnel entrance, but it was unclear if these were preparations for a new nuclear test - perhaps to coincide with high-level talks between the United States and China in Washington on Wednesday.

There is no justice in North Korea-murder goes unpunished.

Under their proposal, the Treasury Department would be ordered to prohibit all financial transactions related to travel to North Korea by Americans, unless specifically authorized by a USA license.

Sen. John McCain slammed North Korea for its role in the death of Otto Warmbier, saying the "US can not and should not tolerate the murder of its citizens by hostile powers". To back up the designation, Tillerson could assert that Americans face "imminent danger" to their health or safety if they travel there, an easily defendable assertion in the wake of Warmbier's death.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared in public 51 times this year, mainly in the fields of defense and the economy, an analysis of news reports showed Wednesday.

Corker says the USA should think about a North Korea travel ban because "trumped-up charges like this can continue to happen".

Warmbier died in OH on Monday, days after being released by North Korea. North Korea sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor.

Foreign policy analysts have long questioned China's willingness and ability to alter Pyongyang's behavior and slow its pursuit of a more sophisticated nuclear weapons program that could potentially reach the continental United States. At least I know China tried! Moon expressed condolences to the Warmbier family and the American people.

  • Zachary Reyes