Thousands of mourners bid farewell to Warmbier

The 22-year-old was medically evacuated to the United States last week with severe brain damage.

Warmbier's cause of death hasn't been determined.

Thousands of friends and relatives gathered at Wyoming High School in suburban Cincinnati on Thursday for a memorial service for Warmbier, who graduated from the school as salutatorian in 2013.

The coroner's office reviewed medical records from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the air ambulance service that helped bring Warmbier from Pyongyang to Cincinnati after 17 months.

The casket of Otto Warmbier is carried out from his funeral at Wyoming High School June 22, 2017 in Wyoming, Ohio.

Warmbier's father Fred earlier told reporters that his son was lured to North Korea, as other U.S. tourists have been, by tour groups run out of China.

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

He said Warmbier was breathing on his own at the time and his vital signs were normal but he could not speak or move voluntarily. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 after he was found guilty of allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel.

North Korean officials claimed Warmbier fell into a coma in March previous year due to botulism and a sleeping pill.

Senator Ted Cruz from Texas said: "the North Korean regime is mistaken if it believes that its barbaric mistreatment of an American citizen held in depraved captivity for over a year will pass quietly". The agency didn't provide further details on how Warmbier was treated under detention or what might have caused him to lapse into a coma.

"I know being there had something to do with it", Volo added.

"The smear campaign against [North Korea] staged in the USA compels us to make firm determination that ... we should further sharpen the blade of law", said a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry in a statement. "Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died at 2:20pm", Warmbier's parents said in a statement Monday, according to an Ohio-based paper. KCNA said the North dealt with Warmbier according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

President Donald Trump said he was running out of patience with the North Korean regime.

"Unfortunately, the bad torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible", they said.

On Wednesday, Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said that USA patience with Pyongyang was running out.

"To see a young man go over there healthy and, (after) a minor act of mischief, come home dead basically... this goes beyond any kind of understanding of law and order, of humanity, of responsibility toward any human being", Mattis said.

  • Leroy Wright