North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier

Posted June 26, 2017

North Korea said Friday that the death of American tourist Otto Warmbier was a mystery, denying he had been tortured and casting itself as the "biggest victim" of the affair.

President Donald Trump told reporters that what occurred in the case of Otto Warmbier "never should have happened". "I was in tears".

The exact cause of his death is unclear.

The North has often used bombastic and sometimes racist rhetoric to slam other world leaders for actions that displeased the regime. "They needed to be careful about the things that they might say, that the North Koreans might take offense [and] that might cause the North Koreans to react very angrily and badly".

"This is the place where Otto experienced some of the best moments of his young life, and he would be pleased to know that his return to the United States would be acknowledged on these grounds", he said.

China, North Korea's main trading partner, has been accused of not fully enforcing existing United Nations sanctions on its neighbor, and has resisted some tougher measures. He died on Monday. His family declined an autopsy and said in a statement that their son had "completed his journey home". He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said.

The senator accused North Korea of a "disregard for basic human rights, basic human dignity".

WYOMING, Ohio- The Ohio hometown of Otto Warmbier, who died last week after his return from 17 months in detention in North Korea, gathered at the 22-year-old's alma mater Thursday to bid him farewell.

Revere said it is hard to know for sure whether Warmbier would have served the full 15 years.

Mattis was speaking alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the two met Chinese officials to discuss North Korea and other regional issues, including China's continued military build up in the South China Sea. "So you can always use American hostages as leverage".

Warmbier's North Korean trip was only supposed to be a five-day tour.

Friday's statement appeared to support that possibility, saying that North Korean doctors had "brought him back alive whose heart had almost stopped". Doctors in Cincinnati said they found no active sign of botulism or evidence of beatings.

In April, the Warmbier family made a decision to break their silence. South Korea said the women defected on their own, while North Korea claimed they were deceived and abducted to the South.

"I think the results speak for themselves", he replied, adding that they chose to speak out because they were frustrated by the situation.

The attendees included Ambassador Joseph Yun, the U.S. special envoy who traveled to Pyongyang to bring Warmbier back, and U.S. Sen.

The North Korean statement said the country was a victim of a "smear campaign" by the United States as a part of a "frantic effort" to impose "heinous sanctions", the NK News website reported.