White House urged to act over death of Otto Warmbier
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 11:18
Mr Trump later tweeted: "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out". Warmbier was on a trip to Pyongyang in January 2016 when he was arrested for attempting to steal a propaganda poster on the wall of a hotel that contained the name of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has called for a ban on tourist travel to North Korea after American student Otto Warmbier died just days after his release from the North in a coma. Two months later, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for the "hostile act" of trying to steal a propaganda poster off the wall of his hotel. As the rogue regime repeatedly threatened the US and its regional allies, testing missiles at least nine times since Trump's election, the administration looked to China to help. But U.S. doctors who examined him said he suffered severe neurological trauma and showed no signs of botulism. His family says it was told he had been in a coma since soon after his sentencing.
The president's declaration marks a potential turn in his administration's strategy on North Korea, which had focused on ramping up worldwide economic and political pressure on Kim, especially from China, on which North Korea's economy relies heavily.
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.
Trump from the Oval Office said what happened to Warmbier was a "total disgrace".
The US side is expected to press China to cooperate on a further toughening of global sanctions on North Korea.
A funeral is to take place on Thursday morning at a high school in Wyoming, Ohio, that Mr Warmbier attended before enrolling at the University of Virginia.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said the USA should curb tourist travel. They added he was given a sleeping pill and had been in a coma since.
He also tweeted that "the USA once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim".
"I kind of think the administration is there, but I think this will toughen them up", Keane said.
The death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier following his incarceration in North Korea has shaken tour companies catering to thrill seekers, with several reconsidering whether to take Americans to the reclusive state.
Following Mr Warmbier's death, the tour group that arranged his trip said it would no longer take Americans into the isolated country.
The White House has quietly pushed for the release of all the Americans as a first step toward better relations, and President Trump has sometimes publicly indicated a willingness to talk with the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, about its pursuit of nuclear arms and missiles capable of striking the United States.
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.
U.S. Sen. John McCain says Americans who are "stupid" enough to still want to visit North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the U.S. government of any blame if they're harmed while there.
"I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea". Three other USA citizens, including Kim, are still being held in North Korea.
"North Korea remains prepared to conduct a sixth nuclear test at any time when there is an order from leadership but there are no new unusual indications that can be shared", a South Korean Defence Ministry official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Warmbier's sophomore English teacher said he would be "dearly missed".