Obama: We never stopped trying to get Otto Warmbier home

Obama: We never stopped trying to get Otto Warmbier home

What happened to Otto Warmbier after his sentencing might never be known outside the reclusive country. Just days after 22-year-old Otto Warmbier was returned to the US with severe brain damage, his parents announced his passing on Monday afternoon.

However, U.S. doctors said he had suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

Wambier's parents did not cite a specific cause of death, but cited "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea.

After a one-hour trial in March last year in which he confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion.

North Korea freed Mr Warmbier for "humanitarian reasons" in June 2017. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2.20pm.

The agency, founded in 2008 by a British expat, came under fire after Warmbier was flown home in a coma following a flurry of secret diplomatic negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. "It is (the) most militarized society on the face of the Earth and it's a reminder to the new generation of Americans about the nature of North Korea", he said.

Otto Warmbier was a student at the University of Virginia when he visited Pyongyang on his way to Hong Kong where he was going to study.

Warmbier's death affects South Korea's efforts to restart its dialogue with North Korea, Moon told CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, "we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime".

Bae, now 48, was detained in November 2012 while leading a tour group in a special North Korean economic zone.

'We plead with the U.S. government, the global community, and leadership in North Korea to value human lives.

Trump drew criticism in May when he said he would be "honoured" to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "But I would do that".

North Korea said last month it was its sovereign right to "ruthlessly punish" USA citizens it had detained for crimes against the state.

SEOUL/WASHINGTON South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday said North Korea should swiftly return South Koreans and Americans detained in the reclusive nation and that Pyongyang had "a heavy responsibility" in the death of a USA university student.

North Korea has claimed Warmbier fell into a coma soon after he was sentenced past year, saying he had contracted botulism and been given a sleeping pill.

But after he was returned the U.S., doctors cast doubt on this, finding no signs of botulism. After 17 months of detention, the North Korean government last week handed the 22-year-old over to USA authorities in a vegetative state. President Donald Trump denounced North Korea after hearing the news.

In response to a question of if he would oppose a preemptive USA strike on the North aimed at foiling an intercontinental ballistic missile test, Moon said a preemptive strike is something that should be discussed at a later stage.

An American college student has died just days after being released from North Korea in a coma.

Many other politicians and public figures also expressed dismay and outrage.

Government officials in Seoul said that North Korea has yet to respond to their demands to check on the state of its six nationals detained in the North.

Moon has been unable to pursue the engagement with the North he favors because of a string of North Korean missile tests. North Korea's Supreme Court said Miller, then 24, tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang's airport upon arrival in April 2014 and admitted to the "wild ambition" of experiencing prison life so that he could secretly investigate North Korea's human rights situation. Medical experts in Warmbier's hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, said that the student was suffering serious brain damage. He said he was kept isolated most of the time but not physically abused.

The best case scenario for America would be denuclearizing North Korea, and reducing the threats posed by its chemical and conventional weapon stockpile and million man army, without risking a horrific war.