Diplomat in student's release to attend funeral

Warmbier's death has considerably strained tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, which have always been at loggerheads over North Korea's nuclear missile program and the installation of a controversial American missile defense system in South Korea.

"This pattern of brain injury is usually seen as result of cardiopulmonary arrest where blood supply to the brain is inadequate for a period of time, resulting in the death of brain tissue", Dr. Daniel Kanter said last week. His parents released a statement that said his death was the inevitable result of "the bad torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans".

Warmbier, 22, died Monday afternoon, less than a week after being released from North Korea in a coma. "I would like to do this.' So, we agreed to let him do that", Fred Warmbier said. "There's no way for me to know that for sure". "He never should have been detained in the first place", he said.

Moon was elected in May pledging to take a more moderate approach to the North and engage the reclusive country in dialogue, in addition to pressure and sanctions to impede its defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. But he was arrested in Pyongyang in January 2016 and, as we have reported, was accused of trying to steal a propaganda poster.

The exact cause of Warmbier's death remains unclear.

His treating physicians said he suffered from unresponsive wakefulness, a condition also known as persistent vegetative state.

The family had rejected the option of an autopsy leaving his official cause of death a mystery.

But they cast doubt on North Korea's assertion he fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

The article also criticized South Korea for using Warmbier's case to seek the release of other detainees, including six South Korean citizens. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Pyongyang compared former U.S. president Barack Obama to a monkey after he supported the 2014 cinematic release of "The Interview", a Hollywood comedy mocking the North Korean leadership.

The circumstances of his detention and what medical treatment he received in North Korea remain unknown. "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out", he wrote, referring to his apparently failed attempts to persuade the Chinese government to contain the totalitarian regime, with whom China shares a 880 mile-long stretch of border.

When forced to make a public confession, Warmbier said he stole the poster for a member of the Friendship United Methodist Church in Wyoming, Ohio, who wanted it 'as a trophy.' In exchange, Warmbier was to receive a used vehicle worth $10,000.

  • Leroy Wright