US President Donald Trump says China has failed over North Korea

The Trump administration is considering banning travel by US citizens to North Korea, officials said Tuesday, as outrage grew over the death of American student Otto Warmbier and President Donald Trump declared it a "total disgrace".

"We have been struggling to process the result", said Young Pioneer Tours, which advertises the North as "probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit".

Earlier the coroner's office said it had received Warmbier's body for an autopsy examination and was expecting to release preliminary findings later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

Even as Warmbier's family prepared to mourn him at a public funeral service Thursday in OH, the circumstances behind his death remained unclear. He had been accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner in North Korea while visiting with a tour group and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

Last week North Korea made a "humanitarian" gesture, releasing US college student Otto Warmbier from custody, 17 months into his 15 year hard labor sentence for the crime of allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster.

The two countries have no diplomatic relations.

Warmbier had planned to study in China in his third year of college and heard about Chinese travel companies offering trips to North Korea. Investigators are still not certain what caused his death.

Justin Weber said that a press conference is expected later to provide details.

It comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in says North Korea should swiftly return South Koreans and Americans detained in the reclusive nation and that Pyongyang has "a heavy responsibility" in the death of Warmbier. "And I spoke with his family", Mr Trump said.

The North Koreans released Warmbier last week after 17 months of captivity.

Officials have not reached a conclusion about the cause of death.

North Korea revealed on May 7 that Kim Hak-song had been detained on charges such as espionage and crimes against the state, making him the third American now being held and the 10th in total to be detained by North Korea's current leader, Kim Jong Un.

Since his disappearance, Roy and his wife, Kathleen Sneddon, have tried just about anything they can think of to find out what happened to their son - from traveling to China to retrace his steps to getting State Department officials to waive federal law to give them everything they know about their son's case.

Warmbier was arrested and imprisoned in North Korea during President Barack Obama's time in office, though North Korea only informed the United States of Warmbier's medical condition earlier this month. He could not speak or move voluntarily and his doctors said he suffered extensive brain damage.

  • Leroy Wright