US student Otto Warmbier dies after release from North Korea
Otto Warmbier, the US student released in a coma last week after nearly 18 months in detention in North Korea, has died, leading President Donald Trump to decry the "brutal regime" in Pyongyang.
The 22-year-old was medically evacuated to the United States on Tuesday last week, suffering from severe brain damage. He died six days later surrounded by relatives in his home town of Cincinnati, Ohio.
"The awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible," the family said in a statement announcing Otto's death.
The young man was on a tourist trip when he was arrested and sentenced in March last year to 15 years hard labour for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel, a punishment the United States decried as far out of proportion to his alleged crime.
Trump lashed out at Pyongyang following news of his death, while voicing compassion for his family.
"It's a brutal regime," he said during a White House event. "Bad things happened but at least we got him home to his parents."
In a separate statement, Trump said, "Otto's fate deepens my Administration's determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency."
"The US once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim."
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