Mourners Remember Otto Warmbier At Hometown Funeral

Cheryl Sanders
June 23, 2017

Warmbier's parents said their son appeared anguished when he arrived home but died "at peace".

An American student, Otto Warmbier, was in detention in North Korea before he was sent back to the United States, soon after which he passed away.

The 22-year-old had booked a travel tour of North Korea in December 2015 and was about to leave the following month for Hong Kong when he was arrested for trying to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel in the capital of Pyongyang.

Mystery still surrounds Warmbier's death, particularly how he ended up in a coma and what conditions he experienced while being held in North Korea. He said the two sides agreed on the need for companies not to deal with North Korea in violation of United Nations sanctions, but did not specify any particular action China was promising to take.

"Although we had no reason at all to show mercy to such a criminal of the enemy state, we provided him with medical treatments and care with all sincerity on humanitarian basis until his return to the USA considering that his health got worse", the agency quoted an unnamed spokesman of Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry as saying.

Warmbier's former soccer coach, Steve Thomas, said the Jewish student came from a religious family and was involved in mission trips and a birthright trip to Israel.

China is North Korea's only ally and China is the country that provides the most economic assistance to North Korea.

"I'm sure he was told what to say at the press conference", Bae said.

Trump has had high hopes for greater cooperation from China to exert influence over North Korea, leaning heavily on Chinese President Xi Jinping for his assistance.

Trump appeared significantly moved by Warmbier's death, tweeting Tuesday that "the USA once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim" before signaling that China's chance to resolve the crisis via diplomatic means may have come and gone. They also said military options for North Korea have recently been updated and will be presented to President Donald Trump if there is a nuclear test.

North Korea is continuing to mass resources at a known weapons testing site inside the country, a defense source told Fox News on Wednesday, prompting worries Pyongyang could be plotting to greenlight another provocative nuclear bomb test amid heightened tensions following the death this week of an American student who had been imprisoned by Kim Jong Un's rogue regime.

The agency accused Seoul of tarnishing Pyongyang's image with its "slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture" while having no knowledge of the "humanitarian" treatment Warmbier received in the North.

It demanded that South Korea return 12 restaurant workers who defected to the South a year ago. Other travel companies say they're considering a similar restriction. Three Americans remain detained in North Korea.

Other reports by iNewsToday