Funeral Held for Former N.Korean Prisoner Otto Warmbier

Inside the arts center, some of the personal items Warmbier took to North Korea were on display: a wallet, a University of Virginia notebook and the cream-colored linen blazer he wore there, CNN says.

Ohio's Republican senator calls Otto Warmbier "an awesome young man" who shouldn't have been detained.

North Korea reportedly told a us official that Otto contracted botulism and slipped intothe coma after taking a sleeping pill.

Some 2,000 people filled an auditorium, cafeteria and gym at a school in Otto Warmbier's home town of Wyoming, Ohio, for the service.

Warmbier's funeral is Thursday in Cincinnati, and Portman plans to attend. He was in a coma when he was released last week and died in Ohio Monday.

North Korean officials told U.S. envoys Warmbier contracted botulism, a severe form of food poisoning, after his trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labor.

Past tourists said they noticed lapses in organization, a heavy drinking culture and a cavalier attitude about traveling into the hardline communist nation. Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain said hours after Warmbier died on Monday that Warmbier was "murdered by the Kim Jong Un regime".

"It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home".

Warmbier's father Fred earlier told reporters that his son was lured to North Korea, as other USA tourists have been, by tour groups run out of China. -North Korean tensions aggravated by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since past year in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

A Hamilton County Coroner has not yet determined Warmbier's cause of death.

When he returned to the United States from North Korea last week after being medically evacuated, he was in a coma with severe brain damage.

Vagonis urged the audience to remember the three remaining Americans held captive in North Korea. Doctors said much of Warmbier's brain matter had been destroyed by his treatment.

It was unclear whether Trump's remark represented a shift in USA policy toward China or he was simply expressing frustration with North Korea.

Warmbier's family declined to have an autopsy performed on him following his death Monday, the Hamilton County Coroner's Office in OH said, deciding that only an "external examination" would be performed.

The newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, is a North Korean state newspaper that is the official mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Trump's remarks were seen as critical of the Obama administration, prompting a spokesman for the former president to respond with a statement.

Warmbier's friends and family are laying him to rest in Cincinnati on Thursday.

  • Carolyn Briggs