North Korea denies torturing detained United States student Otto Warmbier

In its first official comment following his death, Pyongyang says Warmbier was "a victim of the policy of strategic patience" of then-US President Obama, whose administration never requested his release, an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement to the official KCNA agency, released Friday and seen by Reuters, AFP and AP.

Just two days earlier, Trump had condemned the "brutality of the North Korean regime" after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea for almost a year and a half.

North Korea issued its first official statement after the death of US student, Otto Warmbier.

Warmbier died Monday after being released last week from North Korea, where he had been held for about 17 months. When he was returned to the USA this month on "humanitarian grounds", he had already suffered extensive brain damage and was in a vegetative state. "Our related institutions are treating criminals who committed crimes against [our] republic strictly based on domestic law and global standards, and Warmbier was no different".

He was serving a sentence of hard labor after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster.

They're also calling charges the 22-year-old was beaten into a coma "groundless". His administration has hinted in the past week that it might impose a travel ban on North Korea, which still holds three American citizens in its custody. It rebuffed "groundless public opinion now circulating in the United States that he died of torture and beating during his reform through labor".

"The fact that Warmbier died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S.in his normal state of health indicators is a mystery to us as well".

Trump tweeted the message to Beijing on Tuesday, about two hours after saying he "condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim".

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Warmbier was returned to the United States last week in a coma.

"I know being there had something to do with it", Volo said.

Rabbi Jake Rubin, executive director of the Brody Jewish Center at the University of Virginia, called Warmbier "one of the most intellectually curious people I've ever met" during the June 22 service at Wyoming High School near Cincinnati, the Associated Press reported.

Takes one to know one. We jumped up and down.

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.

"Otto's a young, thrill-seeking, great kid who was going to be in that part of the world for a college experience and said, 'Hey, I've heard some friends who have done this".

North Korea was already high on President Trump's agenda, the BBC's Steve Evans reports from Seoul.

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