Appreciate China but it's efforts on N. Korea "have not worked out"

The comment, which came after a 22-year-old college student died in OH following more than a year of imprisonment in North Korea, suggested he's weighing new options to deal with a regime that's vowed to develop nuclear weapons capable of striking the USA mainland.

"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.

The funeral for Warmbier will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday at Wyoming High School, where he was an athlete and salutatorian of his 2013 class.

The coroner's office in Hamilton County, Ohio, said it had accepted Warmbier's case but had only performed an external examination on his body because the family had objected to an autopsy.

The parents of a journalist executed in 2014 after being held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State group are offering their condolences to the family of a student from OH who died after being detained in North Korea for almost 18 months.

Sentenced to hard labor for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel, the 22-year-old Warmbier was medically evacuated in a coma last week after almost 18 months in captivity.

He said he had always thought it was "unimaginable" that a U.S. citizen could die in a North Korean prison, and that he himself was never beaten or otherwise severely maltreated by the regime.

"What happened to Otto is a disgrace. That should never ever be allowed to happen", Trump said in the Oval Office.

In the past North Korea has used the detention of USA citizens to obtain high-profile visits from the likes of former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Clinton to secure their release.

From the White House to Capitol Hill, pressure mounted for a tough U.S. response, even as United States diplomats sought to protect others Americans from facing a similar fate.

The US side is expected to press China to cooperate on a further toughening of global sanctions on North Korea.

Warmbier visited North Korea in January 2016 on a sightseeing tour. But some have been seized and given draconian sentences for seemingly minor offences.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations who is known as a Trump adviser, also said at a lecture in Seoul on Tuesday that the incident would have an impact on American thinking and complicate efforts to engage in negotiations with the North.

It's unclear exactly how many Americans go to North Korea every year.

But on Tuesday, Trump sent a tweet suggesting Xi's efforts had not borne fruit - a message he reiterated before supporters in Iowa. "And no excuse for the way they've treated so many others", he said. "Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died [Monday] at 2:20 p.m.", the Warmbiers announced.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday urged Chinese officials to apply greater diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to force Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear weapons program.

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out", Trump wrote on Twitter. However, it has been said that it would be at least a year before evaluating how successful China has been. In the House, lawmakers lined up behind legislation from Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat, and Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican.

Wambier's parents did not cite a specific cause of death, but cited "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea. No licenses would be issued for tourism.

In one interview, Trump appeared to empathise with Kim, telling Reuters that taking over North Korea after his father's death was "a very hard thing to do". 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. If a passport ban were placed on North Korea, an American who violated it could face a fine and up to 10 years in prison for a first offense. The agent, Chris Volo, said he believes Rodman's trips to North Korea "had a lot to do" with Warmbier's release.

"This has the merits of protecting Americans from going to a place of increasing danger, but also drying up one source of our currency for North Korea", Schiff said in an interview.

"Everything depended on the United States government's attitude", Korean-American Bae told South Korean broadcaster YTN in an interview broadcast live.

  • Larry Hoffman