The American college student returned to the USA last week in a coma after being held by North Korea for more than a year. Eric Miller, pastor of the Ascension and Holy Trinity Church in Cincinnati, said according to Cincinnati.com: ‘We’ve been praying for him, his parents, and now the people transporting him back home.
Remember Otto Warmbier, the American student who was held in North Korea in 2015 while he was on tour and accused of stealing and made to publicly confess and ask for forgiveness? He was in a coma.
In an emotional tribute to their son, the student’s family thanked the staff of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treating him, but said “Unfortunately, the very bad torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today”.
“We have provided safe visits for over 8,000 tourists to North Korea in the last 10 years”. North Korean diplomats claimed that he slipped into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill, but Warmbier’s doctor said there was no sign of botulism in his system.
Warmbier died at 2:20 p.m. Monday, days after he was released from North Korea.
He had suffered severe brain damage during his captivity.
Three more United States citizens are now being held by North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. holds North Korea accountable for Warmbier’s “unjust imprisonment” and demanded the release of three other American citizens still in detention.
In a confession made at a news conference in February previous year, Warmbier said a friend of his mother’s offered him a used auto worth $10,000 to steal the poster.
President Trump condemned the “brutal” North Korean regime and vowed to work to “prevent such tragedies” happening again.
“On behalf of the entire State Department and the United States government, I extend my condolences to the Warmbier family, and offer my prayers as they enter a time of grief no parent should ever know”.
Warmbier passed away on June 19.
Senator Rob Portman, the Republican who represents Warmbier’s home state of OH, said the student had “a bright future ahead of him”.
His parents said they were only informed of his condition a week ago.
“He looked very uncomfortable – nearly anguished”, family members said. A Washington-based rights group tied Warmbier’s fate to many others “starved, tortured, brutalized and killed in North Korea’s political prison camps”.
Warmbier was “generous, outgoing, sweet, smart as a whip, just an overall good guy”, Danica White, his sophomore English teacher, recalled last week.
But some analysts believe negotiations could happen because of USA worries about the safety of the three other Americans still detained in North Korea.
They added: “He was home and we believe he could sense that”.