North Korea in the spotlight at high-level US-China talks

The high-level security talks between United States and China focused on North Korea, and came in the wake of the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who had been released after being held captive by Pyongyang for around a year-and-a-half.

The cause of Warmbier's death is not known, and his family objected to an autopsy, a request the Hamilton County Coroner's Office in OH honored. No ban is imminent, but deliberations gained new urgency after Warmbier's death, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal diplomatic discussions.

The college senior died Monday, just seven days after he was sent home from North Korea in a coma. Doctors had described Warmbier's condition as a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and said he suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

Whatever caused American college student Otto Warmbier's health to erode during his imprisonment in North Korea may remain a mystery - at least for a while longer.

Kim had been living in North Korea with his wife, who is reportedly still in the country, the Times reported.

"The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim", he said.

"The result would have been a lot different, but what happened to Otto is a disgrace, and I spoke with his family".

President Trump tweeted that he appreciated China's efforts to help with North Korea but that their attempts "did not work out". There was speculation earlier this year that North Korea was set to provoke Trump with its sixth nuclear test since 2006. North Korean officials accused him of hostile acts, and after a tearful and apologetic trial, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

In an interview with the Washington Post released on Wednesday, the South Korean president said that the issue is not that simple, noting that the deployment must go through due process in South Korea. The death last week of American student Warmbier, who fell into a coma after being arrested in North Korea, has raised questions about whether his tour agency was adequately prepared for its trips into the hard-line communist state.

Asked whether the Obama administration should have done more to free his son, Warmbier told reporters last week: "I think the results speak for themselves".

"And we've had I think positive movement on China over the past five months of this administration".

  • Carolyn Briggs